Life isn’t as scary as it might seem on the TV, but that doesn’t mean that you can completely throw the question of security out of your living room window. You need to be aware that there are some baddies out there who are simply waiting for their chance to ransack someone’s home and steal your hard-earned belongings. They might not reach Gotham villain levels of dastardly evilness, but you’re not a superhero either. You need to be prepared, you need to be realistic.

Ironically enough, it’s sometimes villains that can protect you from other villains, as redditor AsleepFondant proved. They asked former burglars to offer some advice about where people really shouldn’t be hiding their valuables, and, wow, did they deliver. It’s making us reconsider a lot of things that we took for granted. For instance, safes might not be as safe as you think while closets shouldn’t be where you store your jewelry.

Scroll down and let us know if any of these tips changed your perspective on home security. Oh, and a small reminder that you should NEVER reveal to anyone where you actually hide your valuables. Even if it’s anonymously on the internet. Stay safe. Stay smart.

I reached out to redditor AsleepFondant to have a talk about their viral thread on r/AskReddit. They revealed to Bored Panda what the inspiration for the question was. "For starters, the area I live in is not the safest and I have experience of having my house broken into when I was a little kid, so you could say it's something that is on my mind," they said. Scroll down for our exclusive interview with AsleepFondant, dear Readers.

By the way, if you’re curious about some other tips and tricks ex-burglars shared, you really ought to check out this recent article about home security on Bored Panda.

#1

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips This doesn't exactly answer the question asked, but it is a tip on potentially protecting your valuables. Bear with me because it's a bit strange: Glue a spare key (not one that opens something important) under your door mat. Weird right?

A few years ago I did this in addition to installing cameras. Over the last couple of years I've seen this exact scenario play out: thief walks to the door, checks under the mat, unsuccessfully tries to grab the key, backs up, looks around to see if anyone is watching (presumably because they think they have fallen for some trap/prank where they are being surveilled), and LEAVES. They don't even search for another way in because it spooks them.

aj9811 , Kelly Sikkema Report

mulk
Community Member
7 months ago

Very nice and useful "prank" (I am gonna do that)

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I was curious to get the redditor's take on how to defend our home from would-be burglars and evildoers of every kind. Here's the advice that they gave Bored Panda: "The best defense is probably not having your house be an easy target to start with. Put up security screens, lock your doors and windows, cut overgrown plants and put up signs like 'beware of the dog'/'security cameras.'" They pointed out that you should probably put these signs up even if you don't own a dog or any cameras.

I also wanted the original poster's opinion about whether or not we should trust the advice of ex-criminals when it comes to security. "That's a tough one," they said. "Being criminals, I would say it's best to take their advice with a grain of salt, but on the other hand who better to ask then the people doing the burgling themselves, the burglars."

What's more, the redditor shared a bit of their experience about staying smart on the streets, especially in areas that aren't as safe. "I have found that generally if you keep to yourself (like not involving yourself or trying to break up in fights) and don't look at shady people, you will be fine."

#2

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips My husband is so good at hiding things from burglars that there are a number of valuable items that we have never found again. So hiding things is fine, but remembering where you hid them is just as important.

fizzy_sister , Nathan Fertig Report

william mcgloin
Community Member
7 months ago

You robbed yourself!!! 😂

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#3

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips This will get burried, but here we go.

Not a burglar but some broke into my family's house 4 or 5 years ago when we were out on a concert. They checked everything - took all money and jewelry they could find.

Except! My room was a mess to begin with. I left piles of clothes on the floor, my study desk messy af, left piles of papers on both desk and floor (i was in a hurry before we all left and was searching for something I can quite remember now.

Now. I had 800€ and golden earrings on my desk, just sitting there.

The burglars opened the doors... and didn't move a thing. Left my 800€ and golden earrings alone and moved to another room.

From then on I have been using this as an excuse why I don't need to clean up my room.

PuzzleBuzzleRuzzle , Samuel Regan-Asante Report

~hUmMuS vIbEs~
Community Member
7 months ago

Smort.

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The author of the thread, AsleepFondant, shared with Bored Panda that they were caught completely unaware by just how popular their thread was. They had no clue the question would go so viral. In fact, it was the very first time their post on Reddit got so much attention.

"I didn't expect it to blow up at all, I was shocked as that's the first time anything I have ever posted has blown up to that degree," they told me. They joked that they wish they'd posted the question on their main Reddit account, considering how much people liked it.

#4

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Former crime reporter here. Tampon box and kitty litter are good. I've also seen false outlets that are safe as a safe.

I don't think burglars are the best folks to ask. Check with drug dealers, they're the best at hiding stuff.

DJGlennW , Litter Robot Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
7 months ago

Drug dealers? I'm not hiding stuff in my a**e and that's final.

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#5

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Also side note, I use to do door to door sales for ADT... people would let me in the house and just tell me where all the important stuff was before even verifying I was legit..... don’t do that.

Mybigbrowntitties , Pixabay Report

Dill
Community Member
7 months ago

Not going to let you in the house full stop. Sorry door to door sales people but I'm not going to buy from you. I have CCTV and see you with your clipboard/badge/whatever and that's enough to stop me answering the door.

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#6

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Had my house burglarized by a so-called friend. He missed by far the most valuable thing. it’s just a safe sitting on the laundry room floor. He missed it because I’m a scumbag and had it covered with a mountain of dirty clothes and towels. So not being tidy saved me upwards of $35K.

ImAlwaysRightHanded , Annie Spratt Report

H Edwards
Community Member
7 months ago

Burglarize is the most ridiculous word

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It’s not just burglars that we should watch out for. We also have to be aware of how safe we are online. After all, online shopping scams and swindles can be someone’s way to worm themselves into your wallet or to get private information.

Earlier, I’d reached out to the moderator team that manages the r/Scams subreddit for a few comments about online safety. According to one of the mods, online scams are a very different beast than real-life swindles.

"I think online shopping scams are different because you lose that layer of dealing with a real-life person. When you have a real person in front of you, a typical person will feel shame or guilt at the thought of taking advantage of a person,” they told Bored Panda.

#7

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Your shed. Seriously. LOCK YOUR SHED. Even if your house is well-locked, if your shed isn't, I likely have access to a plethora of tools I can use to gain access.

AlphaTangoFoxtrt , Tanner Vote Report

cybermerlin2000
Community Member
7 months ago

I know it sounds daft but bolt the walls down in each corner into concrete sunk into the ground. My dad scared off a burglar who had managed to lift the corner of his shed off the floor it was nailed to in order to get in

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#8

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Fun fact - aunt died, and had valuables hidden throughout the house. She was a cranky old cur, the one who had a ton of dough, no offspring, didn't donate, and thought she could take it with her. Well, hell. When she died, I helped out my elderly parents clean out her place. Instead of just being able to throw away the junk and pile up the clothes and other items to donation centers, we had to rifle through every pocket, every damn planter, pot and pan, etc. It was sort of fun, but took a hell of a long time. From what I recall, there was a few hundred bucks inside a few planters, 4.5k in the bottom part of an unused planter, under some little foam brick you stick fake flowers into, that was tucked way in the back of a cabinet, jewelry stashed in the arm of a leather couch, more money in some sewing drawer, a few hundred bucks in several jackets, etc. I took forever to go through every goddamn pocket, sock, drawer, container of nails and buttons, etc. Gotta admit, sorta fun as well. She never told any of us that she had money hidden. My mother just had a hunch.

TheSecretofBog , Alexander Mils Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
7 months ago

She left you a fun treasure hunt. So nice of her.

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#9

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Any safe that's not bolted down and is small enough for 1-2 people to carry isn't safe at all.

RallyX26 , William Murphy Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
7 months ago

Just a box for someone to monkey around with later

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“With the internet, you aren't dealing with a person, but a username and avatar. It is much easier to act maliciously when you don't have a real victim directly in front of you,” they said.

"Online scams also use a lot of tricks to pressure buyers; low prices, pushes to buy now!, taking advantage of someone's kindness or naivete (re: advance check fraud, money mules, etc), or advertising one product and sending another (or nothing at all, by using a fake tracking number). Getting a person to make a decision via high-pressure tactics and preventing them from reflecting and making a sound decision is key," the moderator from r/Scams explained how some scammers work.

#10

My grandfather had a huge safe in the basement.

Inside that safe was another, smaller safe.

And inside that other smaller safe was, you guessed it, an even smaller safe.

When he got sick and had to be in the hospital for awhile he started telling everybody, from the people in line at the fast food place to the nurses, how we was okay because all his stuff was in this unbreakable safe in his basement. People thought he was crazy.

Of course what was bound to happen happened and one time when he was out to the hospital someone broke into his home. When he got back maybe a week later, he saw that the first 2 safes we're opened but the guy gave up on the smallest one. Good for him because there wasn't anything in that last safe either. We had a good laugh about it for the 3 years he was still alive, trying to picture the would-be robber's face when he saw the third safe.

So I guess one place you SHOULD keep your valuables is a safe inside a safe inside another safe. Robbers are lazy.

lordpanda Report

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
7 months ago

That's a cool story!

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#11

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips As a troubled teen, I robbed schools. I can say this: lock your damn windows. 99% of the time we got in with unlocked windows.

RobbStarkNaked Report

ZAPanda
Community Member
7 months ago

You leave windows open? with no burglar bars? bizarre.

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#12

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips My cousin lives in a bad neighborhood, so she went to a thrift store, bought an obvious-looking jewelry box and a bunch of expensive looking costume jewelry that’s actually worthless and put it in the box. She keeps this in a conspicuous place. Then she leaves a few 20s on top. This way if someone breaks in, they will grab this and run, ignoring some of her well-hidden valuables.

downwarddawg , Clem Onojeghuo Report

mulk
Community Member
7 months ago

sort of "thief taxes"? Same when you leave some milk and food for Santa Claus and the reindeers...

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"If a deal is too good to be true, it is. If you see a pair of brand new Apple AirPods advertised for $50, you are not getting an authentic product. There are many counterfeit items out there on the market, and you need to verify authenticity before hitting buy," they said that we should follow our gut instinct and listen to it if it’s warning us.

"Not only to avoid contributing to the counterfeit market, but because these knockoff products do not always go through the same safety standards of the real item; they may not be UL certified, they may use chemicals or ingredients that are not FDA approved and are unsafe for use on or in the human body, or could cause major harm to human life or property."

#13

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips I've seen people make false outlets for hiding valuables like cash and jewelry. Just an idea, a burglar would have to be at your home for a long time to start checking outlets.

ban_me_daddyy , La Miko Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine are connected to electricity. So be vewy vewy careful.

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#14

I’m an electrician and was on a job installing some wall fixtures for a customer, we found $3500 in an octagon box. I told the customer about the find and he’d stashed it there when they bought the house 15yrs prior. I guess even he forgot about it being there, he did give me a handsome tip of $300 for being honest about finding it and not keeping it since he would have never known.

TheOtherBull Report

Sredna
Community Member
7 months ago

Cool story sis!

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#15

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips I'm going to look under your bed, I'm going to dump out any drawer I find. I'm checking your freezer. I'm looking under the bathroom cabinet. Think that incredibly smart hiding spot you saw in a spy movie will work? We watch spy movies too. It's really going to be a matter of security versus convenience for you. If it takes me more than a minute to get to something (and don't forget I'm more than willing to break s**t to get to stuff) then it's not worth my trouble. I want to be out of your house in less than 15 minutes tops.

henrideveroux , Jacalyn Beales Report

Glirpy
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

Thieves aren't going to check the freezer if they want to be out of a house in less than 15 minutes. Unless they are hungry. Then they'll grab a frozen dinner to heat up in the microwave. Then they find the laptop that you stupidly left in the microwave thinking it won't get stolen in there.

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Something else that can give you an extra layer of security is switching your debit card for a credit card. "Credit card protections for most cards are much more forgiving than debit cards. You can generally get your money back faster if you were scammed or misled by a business, versus initiating an investigation through your bank. It is always smarter to pay by credit card (and pay off your balance monthly!)."

#16

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Don't leave things out that people can see from outside your home or car. If you buy a new TV or computer break down the box it came in. Don't just leave it by your garbage bin.

Auferstehen78 , Lisa Report

Kath Leen
Community Member
7 months ago

if u have a box of new tv or pc, let the cats deal with them :)

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#17

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips I'm going to keep a small safe in the living room with a giant foam middle finger inside for when the day comes.

[deleted] , Immo Wegmann Report

~hUmMuS vIbEs~
Community Member
7 months ago

I mean, if you happened to own a giant foam middle finger, you'd definitely want to keep it safe! Also, I totally want to see the reaction of a burglar when they found that >+<

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#18

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Not a former burglar, but my house was robbed before which made my dad want to hide his work laptop the next time we went out. Little did anyone else know, he decided to hide it in the oven. We only realized this after my mom finished cooking dinner and smelled something strange. He should have learned his lesson then, but maybe 2 moths later he decided to hide a laptop in the microwave, because you can’t miss the laptop when it is the only thing in the microwave, right? Later that day my sister needed to use a minute timer to get something so she just hit the 1 minute button on the microwave without checking. Trying to hide laptops costed my dad 2 of them so maybe don’t hide them there.

crabmeat11 , Life Of Pix Report

Rijkærd
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

That dad is kinda dumb on my opinion. From oven to microwave? I take my caution back. That dad is dumb af.

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#19

Lol my dad and 2 uncles were once looking after my house for my grandma (they were about 11, 17 and 18) when the heard someone knocking about the garage, so my dad and uncle (18 and 17) went out and found a burgular, and threatened to beat him up if he didn't leave the property. He had his ladder next to the garage to try and get in from the top (idk what he was doing that for), and as he left he asked if he could at least take his ladder with him. To this day my dad still has that ladder

KlippetyKop Report

Pumpkin Spice
Community Member
7 months ago

"can I take the ladder?" "no" *bonk*

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#20

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Don't put pics on Facebook /social media of you and your family going on a week long trip from the airport

north78 , Skitterphoto Report

mulk
Community Member
7 months ago

ahahah, my comment in another point ;)

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#21

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips LED lighting is cheap these days. If your house is gonna be vacant for a while, consider investing in one of those smart-lighting systems where you can set different rooms to turn on and off at different points in the day. (Kitchen during dinnertime, bedrooms at night, etc.)

C0SAS , Wolf Zimmermann Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
7 months ago

You don't need a fancy system. Just a couple of timers that plug into wall sockets, with standard or desk lamps plugged in, set to go on in the evening and turn off at bed time.

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#22

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Oh, and thanks for locking drawers. That way I know exactly where the valuables are. I can open that cheap wood drawer as quickly with a crowbar as pulling it open.

GlutenFreeApples , khloe arledge Report

Konpat
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

Ugh, we locked a drawer so our toddler couldnt reach inside. It was broken into as the only drawer when we were burgled, although the thieves left all the board games we kept inside...

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#23

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips DON'T USE KEY RACKS OR BOWLS NEXT TO THE DOOR! The amount of stolen cars where the burglar takes one step into the house, picks up the keys to the family car and leaves immediately is just sad.

OThinkingDungeons , Nathan Dumlao Report

Friday
Community Member
7 months ago

I leave my car keys out just for that reason. If someone is brazen enough to break into my home for my car, I’d rather them take it and leave. I don’t want them to enter my bedroom to search for the keys while I’m sleeping. Cars can be replaced, that’s why we have insurance.

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#24

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips On your social media page.

No really.

Dont post photos of expensive stuff you just bought on Facebook. You might think it's cool to show it off, but to a would be theif, it just becomes a shopping list.

GoatPantsKillro , Tofros.com Report

B-b-bird
Community Member
7 months ago

Do not post your vacation pictures until you are back from vacation

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#25

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips For the college kids that might read this, don't keep your textbooks in your car. On the day of my finals I had about six textbooks I was gonna sell in my car. Came back to find someone broke my window and stole the textbooks. Cop told me that it's very common and unlikely they will catch the guy, so I was out ~$700, which was huge as a college student.

zepaperclip , Sharon McCutcheon Report

Darko Pešić
Community Member
7 months ago

Lol 700 is huge for a college student... Its huge for me too dude, and i am working for past 8 years now...

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#26

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Pro tip: Hide your small valuables inside a used/empty fire extinguisher, no one is going to steal a fire extinguisher...

shocksalot123 , Nothing Ahead Report

Monday
Community Member
7 months ago

I would definitely steal a fire extinguisher

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#27

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips I read somewhere that if a thief sees a home security alarm sign 90% of them walk away. A friend of mine bought a ADT security sign off Ebay for this very reason.

Dingo9933 , SmartSign Report

william mcgloin
Community Member
7 months ago

Get a German Shepherd. You'll be safe, and have a fuzzy friend to boot!

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#28

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Fire safes only are safe from fires.

Asylumsix , monkeywing Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
7 months ago

I love the smell of freshly burnt 100 dollar bills.

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#29

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips You’d be surprised at how often people leave their cars unlocked with nice things inside. A lot of people actually leave them unlocked with the keys inside. It’s how the majority of cars are stolen.

50nd , Ricardo Esquivel Report

~hUmMuS vIbEs~
Community Member
7 months ago

Some cars self lock after a while, leaving your keys in there so don't. (I know this from experience).

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#30

30 Ex-Burglars Reveal Where You Should Never Hide Your Stuff And Share Other Helpful Tips Don’t keep your spare key outside near the front door — under a pot plant, under doormat, top of door frame etc.

marty_arty , Andre William Report

Libstak
Community Member
7 months ago

I've never understood why people do this, it's so obvious.

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