In the 20 plus years I worked as a cop for a large metro police department, I wrote and approved hundreds of burglary reports. Time after time, burglaries have been shown to be crimes of opportunity. The burglar generally prefers unoccupied homes, unlocked doors, or homes that simply provide easy entry points. Once inside, the burglar searches each room–putting the small valuables in his pocket and piling larger items by the door or another point of exit he plans to leave through. The criminal’s objective is to grab anything in sight of value and leave as quickly as possible. Jewelry found in a nice wooden jewelry box kept on top of the dresser in the master bedroom, goodies hidden under the mattress, or guns in the bedside table or master closet are easily found and generally always taken. Keeping your valuables in plain sight in your home will only make it easier for the criminal.

It has been estimated that 87% of all burglaries go unsolved­—which means there is a “slim to none” chance that you will get your valuables back. So what can you do to protect your castle and keep your valuables safe? Obviously defend your home from intrusion by making it harder for the criminal to get in. But what can you do to minimize your losses in the unfortunate event that someone does enter your home?

We know a burglar has a limited amount of time to find the valuables in your home. Their goal is to steal as much as possible and get out without getting caught. The criminal is looking for anything of value in plain sight. This is where “Hidey Holes,” inconspicuous hiding places, come into play. If the burglar can’t find your hiding places, you stand a better chance of keeping your valuables.

Hidey Holes can be small places, like a hollowed out book or a space behind the wall or floor to conceal a handgun or jewelry.

There are a plethora of ideas on everything, from buying or building your own hidey holes to having someone build them for you. You can go online and find different companies and ideas to build your hidden areas. You want to make it as hard as possible for a burglar to find your valuables. A great place to hide small items is a shadow-box style picture frame or clock that provides extra space.

You can also hide valuables behind heating and cooling vents. You can get a little more creative by using a full-length wall mirror, hinged on one side, which makes a great place to store longer items like shotguns and rifles.Of course the larger the space needed in which to hide things, the more creative you will have to get in carving out an area that remains undetected.

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