Security Center

News and Resources

Fool the Burglars: Unexpected Strategies to Protect Your Valuables

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a two week trip, the quandary of what to do with your valuables while you’re gone is there. The safest place to stash your valuables is a safe-deposit box at the bank, but who has time to haul their goodies to the bank every time the ocean surf calls?

For a more practical at-home solution we’ve put together a list on the best hiding places for your valuables, but before we get to that there’s something that needs to be communicated – there is no surefire hiding place. No matter where you hide your valuables in your house, if a thief has enough time, he can find your items.

When considering a burglar’s goals of finding valuables and getting them out as quickly as possible, stashing your valuables in clever hiding places can work against you. If he doesn’t find what he’s looking for right away, he is more likely to tear your place apart until he finds something of value. Most thieves aren’t going to leave empty handed and they certainly aren’t going to have any respect for your belongings in the hunt.

Step One: Plan to Lose Money

As counterintuitive as it may sound, your best strategy is to leave a small amount of money in an easy to find hiding place like a dresser or desk drawer, a decorative tin, a purse, or a jewelry box. The amount of money you leave should be reflective of where you live. For example, if you live in an expensive neighborhood and you only leave $50 in your sock drawer, the burglar will assume there’s more and will keep looking; however, if you leave a few hundred dollars behind, he will likely be satisfied he found the stash and will leave.

Step Two: Hide the Rest

For your remaining valuables, following is a list best hiding places:

  • Unusual Places

Once you have placed a little token money in the typical hiding places to throw a thief off track, just about anywhere you choose to hide your valuables should be safe since he won’t continue looking. A few of our top choices include inside laundry detergent, a hollowed-out book, air conditioning vents, or a drop-down ceiling.

  • Young Child’s Room

Kids don’t have money and most adults would not think to hide precious items amongst the chaos of toys and stuffed animals in a child’s room. Just remember the burglar’s goal – get the goods and get out. Most children’s rooms are not neatly organized, making it a less-than-desirable search spot.

  • A Bolted Safe

If you are going to store your valuables in a safe, you should take the extra precaution of having it professionally bolted down so it is harder to remove from your house. If the burglar can physically remove the safe from your residence, he will.

  • False Packaging

There are a lot of products on the market that look like store-bought goods, but they are actually hiding places for valuables. Whether it’s a fake can of soup or potato chips, just make sure the false product is stored in an appropriate place like a cupboard or pantry (a Campbell’s soup hidden in your dresser drawer is a dead giveaway).

No matter where you choose to hide your money or valuables, we recommend keeping a list of all hidden items in a safe deposit box so you can locate them in the future.

What other suggestions do you have for hiding places?

Image taken from hannah.rosen.

This site is a U.S. Consumer site. You can learn more about our site and privacy policy here.