Make sure you keep your property safe these holidays by taking basic crime prevention measures, say police.

Bay of Plenty prevention manager Inspector Scott Fraser warned people to make sure they didn't let burglars near gifts received during the festive season.

He said the joy of receiving the latest high-tech gadget people had been dreaming of all year could be short-lived if they didn't take some basic crime prevention measures.

All too often the "hot property" took pride of place in the home and the boxes were discarded outside for recycling.


"It's tantamount to putting a sign on your door saying: 'Look what I got for Christmas, come and burgle me'," Mr Fraser said.

"It's easy with all the excitement and distraction of [the holidays] to take your eye off the ball and not consider the simple things that will help keep you and your home safe.

"Taking the boxes to the recycling depot could be all it takes to prevent you from having an intruder in your home."

Other recommended measures include making sure the house, vehicles, sheds and garages are secured at all times, keeping valuables out of view.

If people are going away, they should let the neighbours know and make the house look lived in: put lights on timers; have someone open and close curtains; and collect the post.

He said people should make a list of property and record serial numbers. Property should be marked so it can be easily identified if recovered and photos taken of unique items such as jewellery or ornaments.

Important documents and valuation certificates should be stored in a safe place and copies given to a trusted friend or relative.

"We want everyone to have a safe and peaceful holiday so just take a little time out to protect what is precious and rightfully yours and spend the rest of the time enjoying the festivities."