Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A defense attorney & PI who also happen to be writers

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Best and Worst Places to Hide Your Valuables at Home

Posted by Writing PIs on July 14, 2016

Many security experts say to not store valuables in your bedroom (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Some security experts say the bedroom is the worst place to store valuables (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Last winter, a magazine asked Colleen, the PI-writer of Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes, if she’d like to forward a few tips on where to stash, or not stash, valuables in one’s home. She forwarded the below ideas, and they incorporated several in their article. Besides Colleen having in the past interviewed clients who have been burglarized, and her research on the subject, she was also unfortunately “home-burglarized” years ago.

Below are a few of her suggestions on good and bad storage spots.

Four Tips for Stashing Your Valuables at Home

by Colleen Collins, All Rights Reserved

Years before I became a private investigator, I was the victim of a home burglary. I can vouch for statistics that claim the top three items burglars go for are electronics, jewelry, and cash because I lost all three.

I can also vouch for stats that the bedroom is the worst place to hide your valuables. Burglars snatched the jewelry case on my dresser, a laptop off a table, and an envelope marked “Las Vegas” stuffed with bills for an upcoming vacation. Therefore, my first suggestion is…

Security Tip #1: Don’t keep valuables in your bedroom, including under your mattress. And never write “Las Vegas” on a fat envelope, D’oh!

Security Tip #2: If you have a lot of books, a hollowed-out novel on a bookshelf works. Burglars are in a rush to get in and out—they’re not going to waste time browsing titles in a massive bookcase.

Security Tip #3: My .02: Ditch the empty coffee can in a cupboard as a security stronghold. These days, people often purchase coffee beans in paper or plastic bags—IMHO, a metal coffee can would look, to quote Raymond Chandler, “as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.”

Security Tip #4: Hide valuables in a large cardboard box that’s stacked with similar boxes, maybe marked with household terms like “Bathroom” or “Old Clothes.” Burglary is a crime of opportunity, timing, and ease of transfer. Thieves don’t want to waste time pawing through a bunch of boxes, plus carting large boxes out of a residence risks attracting unwanted attention.

This article addresses storage places inside the home. After my experience, I took extra precautions to hinder anyone ever breaking into my home again, which included a security walk-through by a professional security company who recommended which windows and doors should have security features. I took their advice and had security doors installed and bars placed over certain windows.

Our Rotties, the Best Home Security System of All (image copyrighted by Colleen Collins)

Our Rotties, Maybe the Best Security of All (image copyrighted by Colleen Collins)

Fast forward to current day, we have followed similar security installations in our current home, including security cameras placed around the premises. We also have two big Rottweilers, who just might be the best security feature of all!


All rights reserved by Colleen Collins. Please do not copy/distribute any images noted as copyrighted or licensed. Do not copy or re-use any portions of this article without first contacting its author, Colleen Collins, for her written permission.

Coming August 2016: How Do Private Eyes Do That? (Second Edition)

Coming August 2016 (image copyrighted by Colleen Collins)

(image copyrighted by Colleen Collins)

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