LA CROSSE, WI (WKBT) -

The season of giving is also a time for thieves.

The La Crosse Co. Sheriff's Department says there's an influx of car and home break-ins during the holiday season. Mostly, they say because the opportunity is there.

If you have gifts in your car, authorities say to remember to bring them into the house or at least park in a well-lit area with your car doors locked.

And when the gifts are in your house, put them somewhere out of sight. "Possible thieves or burglars are going to look for what's the easiest thing to do, whether that's sneaking around the dark, peeking into houses, sneaking around landscaping, shrubbery, things like that," said La Crosse Co. Sheriff's Deputy Marte Peterson.

It's also recommended to keep your windows locked and wait to throw out the boxes for gifts until the day garbage is picked up.