St. Paul police have a message for residents who received holiday gifts: Be careful what you throw in the recycling bin.

"We were getting reports that people were breaking into homes and taking televisions, computers and game systems based on what boxes they found outside," said police spokesman Steve Linders. "Let's take away that little advertising to thieves."

In a Facebook post Friday, authorities advised St. Paulites to help protect their homes by dropping large boxes for electronics and other pricey gifts at the department's Western District, at 389 Hamline Av. N.

"Each year after the holidays, residents report that their brand new electronics were stolen from their home," the post warned. "Don't let this happen to you."

The red dumpster will be available for drop-offs outside the police precinct until Jan. 8.

It's all part of an annual campaign to stop would-be burglars in their tracks.