Where should your valuables be hidden? No matter how cleverly you hide your belongings, a determined burglar will undoubtedly try to locate them with minimal time. However, it makes no sense to leave your door unlocked so they can come and go as they like. Do not expose your cash and valuables by placing them in the most prominent locations.
According to Statistics South Africa, 1,4 million instances of housebreaking were reported in 2021/22, or 5,4% of all households in the nation. A little over 59% of homes reported housebreaking incidents to the police. With figures this high, you do not want to leave the safety of the valuables in your home to chance.
The main reason burglaries occur is that criminals are looking for valuable items you have in your home. Criminals usually target small gadgets and devices they can quickly sell for quick money. Before deciding where to hide your valuables, you should first think of the most prominent places the burglars will check as soon as they enter. Time will be of the essence to them as they want to get in and leave as quickly as possible.
Outsmart criminals by not hiding your valuables in the following places.
When burglars enter your house and do not have the time to go through the whole house, they will quickly grab anything of value in the drawers close to the door. Sometimes they come across car keys for the vehicle parked outside, and they will promptly getaway in your car. If your vehicle is parked outside or in the garage, you should ensure that you do not leave your keys in the entryway, as you would be giving your car away to burglars.
Most people also have the habit of leaving emergency or backup money, and personal documents in the entryway as this is convenient. However, this makes it easy for criminals to leave your home with them.
2. Vases / Display Shelves
As soon as the burglars enter your living room, they will immediately rush to see to check what is on display. If there are any items of value, they will be gone in an instant. Never leave your valuables on display for everyone, as this may also attract thieves. The guests you have over might tell people or brag about your valuables once they leave your house. Never assume thieves will not ransack everything in your home, even decorative vases.
Most people hide their valuables in their bedrooms, believing it is the safest place. The most common hiding places in the bedroom are the closet, dresser drawers, and under the mattress. Hiding money under the bed might improve accessibility, but it does not do much regarding security. Criminals also want to enjoy the benefit of stealing with easy accessibility, so you would only make their job easier for them. Therefore, refrain from hiding money under your bed or jewellery in the drawers. After criminals check under the mattress, the next place they will look is under the bed and in drawers.
4. Home Office
A home office is set up to conduct work in the comfort of your home. Many people keep their most important documents and other valuable items such as laptops, printers, headphones and other office accessories. Personal information or documents can also be kept in this office, such as identity cards or bank cards. Burglars quickly get these items once they break in, so it is vital to secure your home office to protect your valuables.
5. Invest in a portable safe
Installing a portable safe in your home is another safe way to protect all your valuable items from burglars. However, portable safes also mean that burglars can easily take them and open them at a later stage. Therefore, ensuring that your safe is securely attached to a wall or floor is crucial. Bolted safes are unappealing to criminals as they require too much effort, making them the perfect option if you want to secure your valuables safely.
6. Medicine Cabinet
You may have never thought about hiding valuables like cash in your medicine cabinet, but it is still one of the places that criminals will look through. Medicine cabinets may contain prescription medication valuable to criminals as they can sell them later. Most prescription drugs are not easily accessible and quite pricey, so when a burglar finds them, they would have hit the jackpot.
Just as homeowners are becoming savvier about hiding valuables, so are criminals. You might wonder why someone would think of hiding valuables in the freezer, as it would appear as the safest place that no one ever thinks of; however, burglars do. Criminals will leave nothing to chance and go through everything because they know some valuables will be disguised as food packages. They might even go through your pantry, cereal boxes, and sometimes your dirty laundry to find your valuables.
Above are several surprising and not-so-surprising locations that burglars first check, so do not think you are clever by keeping your money under the mattress. The best course of action is to read through the safety tips offered in this article, whether you are securing your cash, jewellery, possessions, or devices.