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Charity in Christmas gifts warning

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A crime-fighting charity has urged people not to leave presents under the Christmas tree or on the window until early on the festive morning in a bid to keep a check on burglaries during the season.

Launching an advertising campaign, Crimestoppers said the number of domestic burglaries increase during the festive period, despite it being the season of goodwill for most people.

The charity warned people not to display their good fortune by leaving gifts on view outside their homes and urged people to provide anonymous information about Yuletide burglars.

It also advised people not to publicise the fact that they were not at home on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Mick Laurie, chief executive at Crimestoppers, said: "Christmas is a time when we all get distracted with wondering what to buy, what to cook, when's the next party to attend, and so it's easy for people to sometimes forget about the security of their home.

"But with many presents sitting around trees it really is a temptation for burglars and within minutes they can have pilfered all the presents you've bought."

© Press Association 2009