Don’t Hide Money In The Toilet: More Conversation With A Burglar

hide money in the toilet

With my previous post The Best Place To Hide Money – Conversation With A Burglar being one of my most popular posts ever on this site, there wasn’t any hesitation when I was at another gathering over the weekend and spotted the former burglar that had given me the information. I went straight up to him and asked if I could talk with him for awhile. This is what I learned from the second conversation we had:

Most people don’t understand the motivation of why the burglar is stealing. As he explained:

99% of the burglars on the street aren’t like the ones you see in the movies where stealing is their chosen profession. They are motivated by more sinister reasons. They are part of organized crime, they are part of a gang or, as in my case at the time, they are drug addicts.

When you realize that you are most likely hiding your money away from people described above and not the professional burglars you see in the movies and on TV, it gives a different perspective of where you absolutely shouldn’t be hiding your money.

What he explained was that when people hide their money, they usually think of a place where they would never look themselves instead of where a burglar is unlikely to find the money. Take, for example, the back of the closet in a box where he said he often found valuables. For the person who is hiding the money or valuables, this is an inconvenient place and it takes effort to get to. Since all the boxes in front of it have meaning and therefore need to be carefully placed aside before reaching the box that contains valuables in the back, it seems like an inconvenient place to access. For the burglar, however, the boxes in front have no meaning and he will simply throw them aside without a second thought making it quite easy to access that hiding place.

As the conversation continued, the former burglar mentioned “bonus places” he sometimes found money. These were places that he always looked that an average homeowner might consider a good place to hide money, but it wasn’t money that he was after. If there happened to be money there, however, it was a nice, unexpected bonus.

All burglars have habits and there were certain places I always checked for a specific reason – I was a drug addict. I’m sure that other burglars have their particular search areas beyond the obvious drawers and closets, but I bet that most search these areas, too.

These are the areas he always searched and the reason why you don’t want to hide money there:


While this might seem like an unlikely place for a burglar to look, in the toilet bowl tank (as well as all the area round the toilet) is one place that he always took the time to look: “In and around the toilet is where a lot of people hide their drugs. The tank seems an especially popular place, but I will also search boxes of tampons, toilet paper rolls, potpourri… If it is in the vicinity of the toilet and looks like drugs could be hidden there, I would look.”

Cereal Boxes

As with the toilet, “Cereal boxes are another place where a lot of people like to hide drugs. I’m sure that the people who didn’t have drugs in their house wondered why there was cereal spread all over their kitchen after I robbed them.”

Refrigerator & Freezer

The refrigerator may be another place that would seem unlikely for a burglar to investigate, but as he pointed out, “Many drugs last longer when refrigerated so big stashes end up in the refrigerator. Prescription drugs could also be found in the refrigerator.”

Medicine Cabinet

As with the refrigerator, “The medicine cabinet would usually be filled with prescription drugs that could be just as valuable on the street (or for self use) as illegal drugs.”


“I would toss everything surrounding the bed. I’d check pillows, between the mattresses, under the bed and inside anything close to the bed. This is often where people would hide their guns.”

As mentioned in the previous article, the best place to keep money is at the bank, but if you do decide to stash some extra cash at home in case of an emergency, you now know that these possible hiding places are not where you want to hide your money.

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90 Responses to Don’t Hide Money In The Toilet: More Conversation With A Burglar

  1. Peter says:

    Good information. I switched my hiding place and put some money on my dresser.

  2. Steven says:

    Who here keeps more then $1000 in the house? I keep all my money in the bank let alone what is in my wallet (my wallet in some bills wrapped around a credit card).

    If I regularly kept a lot of money at home I’d put in a nice safe.

  3. Clever Dude says:

    I keep my drugs at the pharmacy.Rob them instead!

  4. Teri says:

    There is a t.v. show on Discovery Channel that is just fascinating I think – “It Takes a Thief.” Premise is Ex-pro-burglars target particular houses, go inside and ask if they can “rob” them (throw in a free security upgrade). Very eye opening. The homeowners watch as they ransack their house and take off with their valuables – gets very emotional – and the mess too… Then they fix their security, give them tips.

    It is very eye opening to see what makes you a target, and the places you would never think they would look for your goods…

    What I have learned is nothing beats a (good) security system and locked doors. Making it look like someone is home, etc. Once they get in, nothing is safe unless it is bolted to the ground… The worst is they always takes the cars too – lock up those keys in a safe bolted to the wall.

    Oh yeah – on this show they ransack the bedrooms, closets, fridge, kitchen, bathrooms… You are right! My eyes have been opened – in and out in 5 minutes with every last valuable… They know where to look…

  5. Carol says:

    Sorry, but my first thought after I read this was “Store your treasures in heaven, where thieves can’t get them and moths can’t corrupt”. If you own anything on this earth, somebody will be plotting to take it, even the homeless get robbed. I guess the best advice is to make sure you have good insurance. Life’s too short to be worrying how to protect your “stuff”.

  6. Fern says:

    I have to question all this advice. I attended the local police academy (for citizens) in my hometown, and i was told there that most burglars are in and out of a house in about 10 minutes. The longer they linger, the more likely they’ll get caught. I find it hard to believe that the typical burglar is going to feel comfortable searching all these little hiding spots. It would take too long!

  7. John says:

    After reading the last thread like this one, I actually leave some money on my computer desk in plain sight at all times. I figure the average “money” burglar will take that 20-50 bucks and run with it. This potentially leaves my real stash safe.

  8. Torsten says:

    Interesting perspectives, but most are the complete inverse of what I do. I live in Brazil where the possibility of armed robbery inside your house is real. I keep roughly $1000 in the house for just this reason. If a robber comes in, he wants money, and if he doesn’t get it things can get ugly. The worst thing you can have is a safe. I know a gentleman who was forced to open his safe at gunpoint. It took him four tries. After the third try, the man asked him to pick one of his kids for him to shoot, and then maybe he’d remember the combination. Also, word gets around that you have a safe at home, and you don’t want that.

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  10. WB says:

    The only money I have in my home is in my purse, a spare change jar, and lost coins under the seat cushions. I suppose I should start “hiding” a stash of $100 so the bad guys can have it and stop trashing the house looking for it?

  11. SharpieSniffer says:

    I don’t ever have cash in the house or in my wallet. I just don’t carry it any more. I don’t have expensive jewelry, I don’t have high-end electronics. I drive a used Lexus in a neighborhood with mostly Fords and Chevys. I wonder if my house would be a target because of that. Thieves would walk away from my house with a four year old MacBook and a couple of clock radios. Hopefully they wouldn’t shoot me or my children to assuage their disappointment.

  12. Damien says:

    We live in a modest townhome area with a sprinkling of retirees, so there are always people around. Also everyone can see the entrances to other units (front and back). We keep dogs, as well. Very little concern of a break-in – too much trouble to sneak in and very little to make off with! Works for us.

    We did have an iPod stolen when we hosted a party though – ugh!

  13. Ann says:

    I have some common household items with uncommon contents – money – none of which have been mentioned by anyone on this blog. I’d tell you what they are…but then I’d have to kill you!

  14. Tina says:

    as a former police officer I’ve seen burglaries where the thieves made off with the persian rugs!!! most people don’t realize that the burglar doesn’t just hit your home at the last minute…they are reasonably planned in that if there are no cars in the driveway and its a weekday they can safely assume your at work and they have some time. I have had cases where the thief ate a prepared meal and watched t.v. An alarm system is only as good as the person using it. Those nice jewelry chests, bullets in the drawer leading one to know there is a gun in the house, nice laptops and even a microwave are all easy marks…what most people forget is that if people weren’t willing to buy stolen goods for a cheap price burglars would give up. The next time you think your getting a good deal at a yard sale or flea market for that nice new item still in the box but really cheap think about how it got there!!!!

  15. Ms Broke says:

    These articles are kind of scary! I don’t keep money at home (I barely keep any money at all… I’m Gen Y – we don’t do cash very well) but I do have valuables like inherited jewellery and my laptop.

    Will definitely make me think twice when I go on my next business trip about where I’m stashing my stuff.

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  17. Marked by Crime says:

    this helps burglars as well as it helps yourself…

  18. Ed says:

    I keep a substantial amount of cash stashed securely in my house now in various denominations. I know I run a risk having it available, but what happens when the banking system is down after a hurricane or terrorist event? It’s nice to know that I can still negotiate for things needed by my family (gas, food, etc) in the event of such incidents. I am not an alarmist, just a realist.

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  20. Gail says:

    Every time I have been robbed, it was from a member of my family, whether they live here or not.

    I wish I could leave $20.00 on the table by the front door. When I would come in, if it was there I would know that no one broke in.

    with my family I would run out of $

  21. Dan says:

    Our house was burglarized twice. Each time it was in broad daylight, while everyone was gone and no cars were in the driveway. Each time they simply broke the front window glass on the first floor on the front porch and walked right in the window. They probably had bags or back packs, as they only stole smaller type items that could be shoved in a back pack or bag. They did not steal large items like TV or stereo, they only stole loose small stuff that was easy to grab quickly. The house was not messed up that bad, they hit mainly closets and dresser drawers. I am guessing they were in and out in 10 minutes. An additional note, previously when we had a dog, our house never got broken into. But once the dog passed away and no longer there to bark, that is when we got burglarized.

  22. Bazman says:

    The fake tins used for hiding cash and jewelry are also a thing burglars know well.

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  24. J says:

    Has it ever occured to any of you bloggers that these sites serve as a hints and tips guide for decent theives committed to what they do for a living? Pleases don’t take this the wrong way, but as a seven time convicted felon, all these responses, save the police officers, are all rather naive. You wanna know so much about the crook because its sexy and gets your imagination going. I resent the authors comments about how thieves aren’t anything equal too “movie” thieves. On the contrary they are much more advanced than you could ever expect. As a reformed criminal I feel I should tell you that no matter what security measures you have, anything can be stolen from you at anytime.

  25. Pete says:

    I’m hoping someone will break into my home and leave some treasure. You know…sorta like urban Santa. 🙂

    I think there should be a rule that if a thief can’t find anything of value, he/she has to leave $50 to help with the clean up. Just a thought.

  26. Jockomo says:

    I think the writer and the ex-burglar are the same guy…

  27. Pete suff says:

    Jesus people, don’t leave any money for burglars. This article/series is a waste of thought. Leaving money for a burglar instead of the real stash? That sounds like something a THIEF would say. Someone posted earlier “Sounds like the author/ex-burglar are the same person”–no shit sherlock. Sounds like he’s trying to imbue the public with a impending fear to increase his take, allwhile pretending to be this “helper” He’s probably still robbing houses like the low life he is. pathetic

    Take that “burglar” money and spend it on home/rent insurance. That way when you have property damage/robbery you’ll be protected

  28. Ed says:

    to the above poster…do you really think a burglar reads web sites like ‘’? C’mon…

  29. princess says:

    I am a college tudent for me to keep $20 out for a burglar to find so he won’t trash my place meens I might not eat for a week.

  30. JustaMom says:

    For the love of…

    Yeah, burglers aren’t going to read this blog. Hello! I found it by typing “where to find money”.

    We all live in fear and terror. Get to know your neighbors. Watch out the window and know what goes on in your neighborhood. Get a dog. Don’t live like you have something worth stealing, don’t brag about it if you do.

  31. RealDeal99 says:

    Yes, burglars will read this. The blog is indexed by search engines, and comes up when people search for things like “How to be a burglar” or “where to find money”.

    And the author is correct for the most part. Most thieves are opportunists who want to get in, get something valuable, and get out ASAP. So if they break in and find a hundred bucks, they’ll probably think “SCORE” and make a break for it to avoid getting caught while they’re ahead, not knowing you had a cool 5 grand hidden in the open bag of brussel sprouts in the freezer.

    On the other hand, the minority of criminals who fit the “Professional” category, who have chosen this as their profession will not be dissuaded, as they have likely done their homework on you, your neighbors, and your house. They’ll likely know how much time they have, and they’ll use it to search for the most valuable things they can find.

    On the bright side, unless you’re fairly wealthy, you probably won’t be the target of a “professional” burglar, just the gangster/junkie/opportunist style burglar.

    So like the man said, keep your money in the bank. But if you absolutely refuse, and must keep your money in your home, at least leave a benji somewhere that’s relatively easy to find.(ie, in an old wallet in your drawer next to your bed)

  32. Jim McNeely says:

    Very valuable insight. It has often been said that the best way to protect yourself from a burglar is to think like a burglar. The worst thing people do is to assume that they do not have valuables worth taking, but when dealing with criminals that are drug addicted what they see as insignificant is of great value. Many drug addicted burglars first begin their theft at home and the places listed in this article are where family members attempted to hide valuables from them.

  33. Jeff says:

    Interesting site – I googled for some time to find it. I have been hiding things under my doona in bed like mentioned in article. Guess I need to find a better hiding spot.

    I had a frightening episode almost 20 years ago now when a man with his accomplas tried kicking in the front door. He was armed with a machetti and said he was going to kill us when he got in if we didnt open the door. We had no phone back then – was terrifying.

    He never got in and the police were called by a neigbour. They apprehended him – turned out he had been out for less than a month after serving long sentence for murder… apparently he had problems coping after so long in prison.

    This article seems very light hearted considering the seriousness of what is being discussed. Anyone coming into your home is potentialy a threat to your life or the lives of your loved ones.

    My own gut feeling is not to co-operate with a home intruder. Fight like hell, use what ever is at your means. It could save your life. The second you start to obey there demands they have control.

  34. Kevin says:

    Lol I keep it in the most obvious place inside my computer literally.

  35. Smart Guy says:


    You want to try and remember a combination under stress? Is your money worth putting your life on the line?

    Best hiding place: one that you don’t see on this site.

  36. JT says:

    many higher end safes have a “duress” combination like the money boxes on atm’s.. 2 combinations will open the safe, one is for you, the other will open the safe but will silent alarm the police/monitoring service. Put the duress combination on the back of a business card in your wallet and in a bad situation, tell them, where the combo is, and let them open it, or you can, but there it is (and the police will be on thier way)

  37. Fleebon says:

    I use sheet metal box mounted to an exterior wall of my house.

    The label says “Danger: Extremely high voltage!”

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  39. justin says:

    I haven’t carried or had cash on my person in over 10 years. Yah maybe a few bucks here but it always goes into the bank. I know I might be different then most but I figured credit cards or ATM cards had started making us a cashless society. I’m sure they would take cash if found but would go for valuables. (Xboxes, computers tvs jewels etc)

  40. David says:

    Good luck to a burglar trying to find valuables in my house. Heck, *I* can’t even find the damn valuables. If my DVD player gets stolen, I’ll have a good excuse to buy one that is usable *without* the remote control, which I haven’t found after six months of sporadic high-intensity searching. Grrr….

  41. Yasser says:

    Nice, very informative. I usually don’t have any money to hide anyways, I worry more about my electronics and what not.

  42. Rog says:

    I have every computer in the house set to “call home” via security software if stolen. I almost pray they take a computer with them.

  43. Dan says:

    When I was preparing to move, I sold all my possessions in a yard sale, racking up some cash to be used on my travel and to get my own place. I got all that cash put into large bills and hid them in a cheap EverReady flashlight. The kind that takes D Batteries. I wrapped the bills around the Batteries so the flashlight worked. The thought process was that it would function and have the weight of a real flashlight, and if my place was broken into hopefully they would already have their own, better, flashlight.

  44. Frank says:


    Since you don’t mind someone taking your stuff, can I get your address?

  45. Rob Milligan says:

    Now I know where all of you hide your valuables HAHAHAHAHAHA

  46. Rob Milligan says:

    Just Kidding All

  47. D says:

    Attic? For a while now, esp after hearing about Katrina (I live in a flood plain), I keep redundant emergency supplies on different levels of the house, including some cash in a vacuum sealed bag secured to a rafter in the attic. Not the most convenient place, but hard/time consuming to get to, and if you want to play in the sprayed fiberglass insulation, be my guest.

    How about locking internal doors when you go away for any amount of time? You can always jimmy them open with a small screwdriver or wire when you get back, but I’m thinking about my upstairs office, where you would have to breach the door only to be met with multiple locked file cabinets and a firesafe bolted inside a closet, which can also be locked. Both time consuming and noisy to get to.

  48. Cat Callahan says:

    As a kid back in the 50s, we lived over my dad’s drugstore. He had pain-killers,and other things that most addicts would have loved to have gotten their hands on-but they never did! Why? Dad had several guns and knew how to use them! And we always had noisey barking dogs! Keep a dog and you have noise and distraction-2 things burglars hate!

  49. erdtirdmans says:

    Fern (commenter #6): You are right… and wrong. A thief doesn’t hang around for more than 10 minutes, but in 10 minutes, he’d clean our your house including nearly every likely hiding spot.

    Just because it would take you 25 minutes to check every one of these spots doesn’t mean an adrenaline-rush fueled person with no concern for damaging the property they are searching through who does this 20 times a month would.

  50. Sam says:

    Not yet mentioned, a dog can be bribed with treats in seconds. Arrange things so it takes too much time for an intruder to make friends with fido.

    Never leave tools laying about the yard, they will use them to break in and then take the most worth stealing tools.

    I only keep a Safe for fire safety reasons for documents I am too lazy to take to the bank.

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