During a home burglary, the majority of criminals will immediately head for the master bedroom and then work their way to other areas of the home. Burglars know that most people don’t hide their valuables, so they’ll head straight for jewelry boxes, dresser drawers, nightstands and closets, where important items are usually kept.
In fact, just last month, burglars broke into a Pinecrest, Florida, home and stole $100,000 worth of jewelry from the master bedroom.
It all began when Chandresh and Bhairavi Lakhani left their home to enjoy a night out on the town. Upon returning to their residence, Bhairavi entered the master bedroom. She was shocked to see the room had been ransacked and the thieves had stolen the couple’s watch collection, which was valued at $100,000.
Since we know where criminals are likely to look, it’s important to consider hiding your valuables in other areas of your home. Most break-ins transpire in 10 minutes or less, so the more difficult you make it for thieves to find the goods, the better your chances of thwarting their efforts.
With that being said, I realize there are homes of different sizes and different layouts, so I decided to share with you the five worst places to hide your valuables, so you can make the necessary changes depending on your situation:
- Underwear/sock drawer — People assume socks and underwear are of no value to a thief. Unfortunately, this age-old thinking means criminals head right for this drawer. While most people would never want to touch another person’s socks or underwear, criminals have no qualms about rifling through your intimate apparel for valuables.
- Under the mattress — If you’re like me, this is where you hid your most prized possessions when you were a kid. I remember stashing my BB guns underneath my mattress. (By the way, I’m pretty sure my mom found them easily.) Never hide anything under the mattress because — I assure you — criminals will take the extra two seconds to flip the mattress and check.
- Your children’s bedroom — Many years ago, this was a great place to hide valuables because criminals weren’t exactly looking for toys to steal. However, nowadays kids have tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and other electronics. So if a criminal searches the master bedroom to no avail, they will most likely hit the next bedroom down the hall.
- In the freezer — This is a hiding spot made popular in the movies (and by corrupt politicians). Well, life imitates art, and the truth is a lot of people do hide money in their freezer. I’ve known people who even wrap their money in foil and write “frozen meat” on the foil. But criminals watch movies too, and they will check among your frozen foods. Also, I’m sure you’ve heard about burglars who like to eat while burglarizing a home. As weird as it sounds, it’s not uncommon, since many burglars are desperate.
- In the toilet tank — At first, the toilet tank seems like a good idea. However, this is another hiding place that Hollywood has ruined by showing people stuffing money, jewelry or other items into plastic bags and hiding them in the tank.
Hopefully, this list has made you rethink where to hide your valuables. If you currently use any of the places I mentioned above, I encourage you to move those items right away.
Instead, hide your valuables in places that are very inconvenient to access. For example, in your attic in a box marked “summer clothes” underneath a stack of other boxes. If it’s a pain for you to get to your valuables, then it’s a lot less likely a criminal will be able to find them.
Of course, you could also buy a large safe and bolt it to the ground, which is a good idea too.