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A few years ago, I came home and found my neighbor stringing razor wire everywhere.  

I stopped and asked him what was going on and he said "I got hit, they took everything"

I thought "Aw, Gawd"

My gardener told me the real story was that he and his wife had a fight, she moved out and then came back with her relatives and cleaned out the house.

So, if you are married and have a fight, keep an eye on the furniture.........

 

 

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On 7/27/2017 at 3:13 PM, AngusMactavish said:

As an ex employee of Mosler Safe Co., I warn you about what is sold as a safe. Most "safes" are safe from fire. In the wall or free standing, they are very easy to "peel" the door. They are known as Records Safes. If you ever watched the series on buying storage units at auction you would have seen how quickly the new owners opened them. The doors are thick, but thick with fire insulation. Many user would put the combination on them so the burglar would not destroy it, but it usually had records and petty cash.

A money safe has at least 1/2 steel walls and door. You would most likely not find them here at an affordable price and they must be transported by experienced people. The best defense is to not keep valuables in your home.

So then, where to keep valuables?

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We live in a gated community where just about everyone has been burgled, some twice.

In every case the suspects have been construction workers who observed our coming and going.

In a few incident it's been a maid, although this is mainly petty thieving, bed-linens, kitchen stuff.

The guys who painted our complete house walked off with boxes stored in the garage, and from inside the house ...my favourite

piece of jewelry.

 Even treating them to frequent snacks and drinks, is not going to stop them if they are opportunists,

I'm not insinuating that all construction workers are untrustworthy, we know some who are honourable people, just beware of the bad apples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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If you have workers in your house locked up a room where n one goes and keep you valuable hidden in there.. People inside your house are a real pain because they can observe all your habits comings and goings.. You should never leave the house alone with a stranger in there.. My husband and I take turn but the house is never left alone when workers are around and we only use workers we have known for many years.. New workers are a pain because you really have to be on guard.. I never had anything stolen in the house but the I do not leave things around either.

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33 minutes ago, Zeb said:

So then, where to keep valuables?

If you don't have a money safe that is rated at least TL-30 (you don't), NOB is best. Short of that, a hiding place. See this link for suggestions:  https://www.nachi.org/hide-valuables.htm

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5 hours ago, Zeb said:

So then, where to keep valuables?

If you are talking about a 50" TV or laptop, you can't hide them.  You can just lock them up but if I have some time, they would be mine.

Go on Google and put in "hiding valuables" and then DON'T use any of those places.  Crooks use Google also.

If it's easy to get to, it is easy to find.  

Think like a burglar.  You have a limited amount of time, so where do you look?  Then don't leave stuff there.  Don't put it all in one place either.

I had an aunt that died and she had 3 closets full of clothes.  She kept $20 bills in the pockets.  It took 2 of us 3 days to find most of the money.  

I used to keep $5000 in $100 bills under the rug in the living room when I lived NOB.  I also kept $5000 in my post office box.  I wouldn't recommend that here.  I just mailed an empty padded envelope, removed it, put the money in and put it back in place.  Available anytime, day or night.

There's a lot of spare space in some appliances.  No one will steal a toaster.

My mother used to have a red tool box that sat on the fireplace hearth.  If you looked in, there was a tray with tools, under that was more tools.  Under the piece of cardboard, she has the bottom full of $20 bills.   It sat in full view of the world for decades.

To really search a small house takes a police team a couple of days.  A burglar only has a few hours at most.   

 

 

 

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And another lesson that I learned the hard way.  Just because you lock all the doors and windows that you generally use, check to make sure that the maid hasn't left one of the sliders that are normally behind curtains unlocked and open a few inches.  Easy to spot for a burglar from the outside, but not noticed from the inside!

And NEVER leave your external hard drive backup plugged into your computer.  When my laptop was stolen, unfortunately I had been doing a backup at the time.  Left the house for an hour, came home, and the whole thing was gone!  Thank goodness I had my files backed up on another external hard drive as well.

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It seems to me that it might be best if expats who are very handy (and whom you trust) might do better to help each other set up secret places in their homes to conceal things.  The locals who build these places would then not know about them.....

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I used to buy and flip houses in the Atlanta area.  I bought a house with a full basement that had a door to a small room that was under the front porch.  It had a steel door and poured concrete walls and a concrete roof.

I have no idea why it was there.  Wine cellar, panic room?  

When I was selling the house, I sat a bookcase in front of the door and no one ever suspected the room was there.  Once I had a buyer, I showed him it was there.

In Western NC, there's a lot of big "summer houses" that are empty a good part of the year.  It is not unusual for them to have a hidden room to store valuables over the winter.  I know of one that has a full "safe door" on it.  

I've seen closets will a false wall on one side and a space big enough to hid a gun cabinet in.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Zeb said:

So then, where to keep valuables?

Mattress, that´s what the Mexicans do! 

This topic is nothing new, just the newbie´s trying to figure out the system here.  I still feel the same way as I did over 4 years ago.  We don´t think anything about our car security so why is our home any different?    We live in the country and it´s beautiful here.   Our home is as secure as I feel comfortable with.  

Keep your valuables where you wouldn´t normally think of keeping valuables and don´t tell anyone except a trusted friend in case of an emergency.   You write here where you keep stuff and then we have to find a new place.

 

 

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Not so much here, but in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara there are a lot of armed guards/chauffeurs. They are a special , I'll say junior, but that is the wrong word, branch of the police - private citizens allowed to carry guns. There, the risks of kidnapping are the main focus. I believe Pete Johanssen of this board employs a nightwatchman.

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  • 6 months later...

What I did in my home is install 2 safes.

One was rather easy to find, bolted to the wall in the master bedroom closet. In it was a few hundred dollars, old insurance slips/travel documents and other useless papers.

In another wall I built a false / hidden panel and placed the real safe. Almost impossible to find .

Once the intruders find the first safe they will not be looking for a second.

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It seems just about everybody closes the gate after the horses escape.  Why not before?  Cause we live in a dream where everything is going to be alright.  Same reason we smoke drink and drug too much.  

It happened down the street here day before yesterday, in the daytime, lost a ton of stuff.

Keeping a schedule is one of the causes, word of mouth is another.  

To me the economy is the biggest factor.  If it takes you 5 years to save up to buy a motor scooter anything, any risk, to earn 1000 Pesos is worth the chance. 

And never think: Nah, nobody is that bold.  My God are they bold!

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23 minutes ago, SlowandEasy said:

What I did in my home is install 2 safes.

One was rather easy to find, bolted to the wall in the master bedroom closet. In it was a few hundred dollars, old insurance slips/travel documents and other useless papers.

In another wall I built a false / hidden panel and placed the real safe. Almost impossible to find .

Once the intruders find the first safe they will not be looking for a second.

Why in the world would one want to go on a public forum and broadcast that one has 2 safes, one a decoy and the other the real Mc Coy and “almost impossible to find”.... or at least it was before announcing there was one and gave some clues.  Just wondering. 

 

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I doubt sharing his safe's location will come back to bite him.  Just like someone reaching down my trousers for my family inheritance.  Bottom line is he was trying to help.  

Dear mods, may I have this guy's IP please?

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small stuff is what they like here, jewelry, cell phones, lap tops. something they can hide easily as they leave. Of course there are exceptions to everything.. I cannot speak about safe because I do not have any experience with them but I would not bother with one as my valuables are papers and it would take a while for a thief to go through all of it..

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