Yesterday, I was reading this article about a personal finance blogger’s conversation with a burglar, on where to hide money in the house. Although, the article probably written in a serious frame of mind, I couldn’t suppress a few chuckles (I don’t know why) before I finished reading it.
According to the article, basically, to make your house burglar-proof, you first need to make it burglar-friendly - not in the sense of encouraging burglars, but in the sense of making some things easy for them if they enter your house in the first place. Below are a few *priceless* excerpts from the article that were responsible for my chuckles.
Tip on letting the burglar “discover” some easy money if you care for your house.
Your best strategy, then, is to actually leave some money in obvious places for the burglar to quickly find (the same applies if you keep all your money in the bank). This can not only save your other stash of money, but may actually keep the burglar from destroying your place as he looks for where you have hidden your money. If they believe they may have found the cash that you have in the house, they are much less likely to keep looking (remember, they want to get out asap).
And here is one for making things user-friendly for the burglar:
When it comes to hiding valuables, his [the burglar's] suggestion is to mark an envelope in an easily accessible drawer or with files by your computer with â€œBank Safe Deposit Boxâ€ on the outside and a list of items on the inside. This will tip off the burglar that your most valuable items are stored at the bank and will discourage him from tearing up your house looking for them.
How many of you think a burglar is going to take that bait seriously? Doesn’t that sound a little too “burglar-friendly”?
Here is another piece of advice on “token money” for burglar - as if to convince him to not tear apart the rest of the house.
If you leave some token money for the burglar to find in the places they normally look for money, then anyplace you wouldnâ€™t normally consider a place to hide valuables will usually keep those valuables safe.
But, if one burglar thinks that way, wouldn’t there be others in his trade who know about this little trick all too well?
Now, if I were to change my profession and become a burglar (not a very likely proposition, but humor me for a while), wouldn’t some of the things above be a part of my basic training - I mean, if I find “token money” around the house, it’s going to tip me off about other valuables hidden elsewhere in the house at unlikely places. Also, if you leave an envelope prominently marked “Bank Safe Deposit Box”, I will instantly know that you are trying to fool me and I will tear up your house on reading such user-friendly *instructions*. Moreover, a burglar who comes prepared to tear your house to find valuables, will probably do it anyways - whether he finds the token money or not.
I don’t mean to ridicule the article - it does offer some valuable insight into the burglar psyche; it’s just that I found some of it rather amusing. It almost felt like hanging this sign on your window:
Sometimes I wonder about all the popular tips to trick burglars - wouldn’t most (competent) burglars be aware of them before you are? In that case, wouldn’t it make sense to do something random that does not appear on such lists? I am just thinking aloud here.
In our case, the burglars probably will have better houses/apartments than our apartment. Between our close friends, we often joke that if a burglar enters our house, he will probably leave some items for us in sympathy, instead of taking something from our house. If it’s a weekday, he will probably think we have already been burglarized a few hours ago. On a serious note, I have never thought along the lines suggested by the article (probably because we don’t really have anything valuable in our house ~ the most cash we ever have at home is probably a few quarters). I should probably do it sooner than later.
For those who have made their houses/apartments burglar-proof (or burglar-friendly), feel free to share your experiences. Experienced burglars are especially encouraged - although, we would only take your suggestions with a grain of salt.