CLAY COUNTY, FLA. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office has a warning for everyone buying a new television: Consider buying a locking device.
Of the 500 burglaries in Clay County so far in 2013, 76 of those cases involve stolen flat-screen televisions. Deputies say there is a key step you can take to protect your property, but most people do not know about it.
"I think there may be a lack of public awareness, especially at this time of year" Sgt. Eric Twisdale said. "People want to showcase their homes, showcase their Christmas decorations. We're encouraging people, if you're not home, close your blinds, make sure you have proper lighting outside, just do some common-sense things to burglar-proof your home."
Twisdale says you can buy a TV lock online for $18 to $300.
Law enforcement officers also suggest tearing up the boxes that big-ticket gifts come in. If you put the boxes out at the curb in one piece, they can be a signal to crooks that you have new and valuable items in your home.