Local 6 Today shares tips for protecting yourself from criminals this summer

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Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

Summer's here, and as we move around more, so do the criminals. However, there are common sense things you might not have thought about that will help keep your valuables safe.

First, many of us leave the GPS unit in the car at all times. However, don't program your home address inside. A criminal can get that address and use it to break into your home.

If you're going to be away from the car for a long time, such as when it's parked at an airport, remove the garage door opener, car registration and insurance cards from your car. In other words, take out anything with your home address if thieves can figure out that you won't be home.

Do you have other people's contact information saved in your phone? Be careful with your bag or purse, especially if your phone is inside along with credit or debit cards. There have been stories of phones getting stolen along with cards, which is then followed by the thief texting a close contact and asking for the PIN for a particular card or account.

If you buy a brand new appliance or expensive electronic item, don't leave the box outside in plain view. That tells people you have something brand new that could fetch dollars on the street.

When you leave the house, create an illusion that someone is still there. You can leave a light on, along with music or a TV for good measure.

Be sure to secure all sliding doors and windows. Even when locked, thieves commonly use these to break into homes. You can secure them by sliding steel bars or two-by-fours into the back groove. You can also install a simple pin or nail to keep a window from raising more than a few inches.

Don't leave spare keys out in the open, even under a flower pot or a doormat. Someone could see you retrieving the key, giving away your hiding place.

Check out the video for more on protecting yourself from criminals.

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