How to Hide Your Valuables and Money from a Burglar

Thinking about buying a safe to store your valuables and big wads of cash? If you have big wads of cash to stash nowadays, congratulations. You’re probably some kind of big time corporate exec. Most people have less money now to stash away. Therefore, most people considering the purchase of a safe should probably put that money to better use. The thing is, while safes are pretty safe, they are also burglar magnets. If a burglar gets wind that there is a safe in your house, you’ve just increased your chances of being robbed. Maybe he’ll be successful in breaking into it and maybe he won’t; chances are if he isn’t, he’ll just take whatever else is handy like your stereo or TV.

A wall safe may be a secure place to hide money and valuables, but it’s not the best place. Especially if you don’t have a nifty little security system to go with it. There are places you can hide your cash and jewelry and the like that won’t cost nearly as much money as a wall safe, but will provide you with almost as much practical protection.

Okay, first off, the places where not to hide your valuables. Forget inside your drawers. A smart burglar will ransack any drawers you have, including pulling them out and looking to see if you taped anything on the underside. Sure it sounds clever, but it’s not original. It may be convenient for you to keep your jewelry in your bedroom, but the problem is that it’s also convenient for the burglar. The bedroom is likely the first place he’ll head.

Now for the act of hiding your valuables. Do you have an old computer monitor or television lying around? Do you have an attic or a cluttered spare room? Dissect the insides of the monitor or TV and store your money or keepsakes inside. A cruddy old monitor or TV that looks like a piece of junk you just haven’t gotten around to tossing out is a perfect hiding place. In the first place, most burglars won’t take the time to examine it carefully and in the second place they won’t steal it because they know it won’t bring them much money.

If you’ve got a little Bob Vila in you, invest in a light switch plate. Carve open a space in the drywall, insert an appropriately-sized box and then place your valuables into it, covering it up with a normal-looking, but completely useless, light switch. It’s the same basic idea as those phony spray canisters, except that most burglars have caught on to those and if they’ve cased your house and know you’re out of town and won’t be coming home on them, they’ll feel comfortable shaking your canisters to see if they’re kosher.

While there are phony books that are already hollowed out for you, unless you’ve got a big enough collection that the phony book won’t stand out, go ahead and invest in a real used book and carve up the inside yourself. Smart burglars will browse through a small book collection looking for those phonies, but if you’ve got a real book that doesn’t seem out of place they’ll pass right over. One word of advice though. Don’t try to be cute by buying something like The Golden Bough or The Moneychangers in order to remind you which book has the cash inside. You just might tip off the burglar.

Another terrific hiding place for valuables is inside your couch cushions. If you’ve got zippered cushions with foam inside, simply slice a little hole into the foam and insert your money or other valuables into it, then zip it up. Most burglars never make this kind of effort. If you’ve got a big potted plant inside your house, encase your money or jewelry inside a Glad bag, zip it up and bury it. Just don’t forget where you put it!

The single most overlooked place by burglars is the kitchen. The kitchen contains a variety of great hiding places for you valuables. Rings can be hidden quite well inside a jar of peanut butter. (Take precautions first, of course, don’t just stick a ring down there.) The one place in your house that is almost certain to go unchecked by burglars is the inside of your freezer. Buy a carton of ice cream and you can hide anything that is small enough and not subject to damage from freezing. An envelope with cash can be taped to the back of a refrigerator or other appliance and probably never be found again if even you forget about it.

If you’ve got a massive CD collection, add some crap to it. Go out and dip into the bargain bin for those .50 cent CDs that nobody wants. (Might I suggest Celine Dion or Journey.) Get about ten or so and place them all in a row somewhere in your collection. Inside two or three of the jewel cases hide some cash. Why go through all this trouble? If you’ve got a nice CD collection, it’s subject to being stolen. But most burglars aren’t going to weigh themselves down by taking your entire collection. By having about dozen crappy CDs all stuck together, you increase the odds that if your burglar is in the mood for stealing your CDs, he probably won’t take the ones with the cash inside.

There are probably more places inside the home for hiding money and valuables than you ever knew. The more work the burglar has to do to get to your hiding place, the better. For instance, none but the most dedicated of thieves is going to spend time rooting around in a hot attic. While you can make a huge investment such as safe or a moderate investment such as one of those phony aerosol cans, why not get creative and save a little money?

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