Dear Money & Crisis Reader,
There’s a man in a ski mask pointing a shotgun in your face, barking orders and jabbing you with the end of his gun.
In the next room, your family is being tied up by a large man with a semiautomatic weapon.
“One wrong move and we’ll kill them all,” says the man in the mask.
He forces you to open your state-of-the-art home safe and surrender your entire emergency stash of gold and silver — a stash that took you years to build.
As the lock clicks and the door swings open, you ask yourself, “How could this happen? I was so careful.”
Let’s rewind for a moment.
Yesterday we discussed how secrecy is the No. 1 way to protect your emergency stash. After all, if no one knows it’s there, no one’s going to try to steal it, right?
But even if you never tell a soul, there’s one major factor that can tip off a potential thief.
Buying a “Steal Me” Safe
Remember that state-of-the-art vault I mentioned earlier?
Simply owning a vault like this is a major breach in home security protocol.
First of all, it breaks the Rule of One: Only one other person should ever know about the existence of your stash of gold.
Well, if you buy a fancy safe, it’s going to be delivered to your home in a truck.
It’s going to take at least two guys to get it into your house — which your nosy neighbors are sure to get an eyeful of.
After that, you need a safe technician to install it. And he’ll be back every few years to perform maintenance.
Your safe is barely in the front door and already too many people know about it.
Often when there’s been a gold theft, the first person the police seek out is the safe technician.
They know exactly where the safe is. And while they may not know exactly what’s in the safe, they know that nobody buys a fancy piece of equipment like that unless they want to store something valuable.
When you spend your days looking at thousands of dollars of gold and silver, the temptation to misbehave is pretty high.
To protect themselves, they probably won’t be an active part of the crime itself. All they have to do is give one of their buddies your address and collect their share of the loot when the smoke has cleared.
Attack of Opportunity
Even if ALL of these folks can somehow keep their mouths shut, simply owning a safe is enough of a giveaway to potential thieves.
Imagine you’re a thief and you’ve broken into a home for a quick smash-and-grab job. But when you’re going through the closet, you happen upon a heavy-duty, state-of-the-art safe.
Now, you can either leave with the duffel bag of jewelry and electronics you already have… or you could stick around and net a potentially life-changing haul.
Nine times out of 10, this guy is going to decide right then and there that he wants the contents of your safe.
He’s either going to lie in wait and try to force you to open it when you get home. Or he’s going to leave and come back later with a crew.
Either way, this everyday burglary has now turned into a violent home invasion.
You might think that a criminal wouldn’t return to the scene of the crime like this.
But according to statistics by the Bureau of Justice, you are more likely to be a burglary victim if you or a neighbor has already been burglarized. This is because the criminal feels like they’ve already cased out the area, so there’s less risk of a surprise.
There are two key steps to keeping your emergency stash safe and secure:
- Instead of a traditional heavy-duty safe, use a combination of decoy tactics and discreet storage options to keep your stash secret.
- Keep burglars out of your home so they never have the chance to discover your safe.
This week, we’re going to expand on these ideas and tell you everything you need to know about keeping your stash safe.
Until then, feel free to email us with your thoughts and ideas. If you agree, disagree or have any burning financial questions, you can email me right here.
All the best,
Editor, Money & Crisis
Editor’s note: The strategies you read about in Money & Crisis were developed with the help of Jim Rickards, one of the world’s foremost experts on buying gold.
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