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Safe for a condo?

rkd80

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#1
Hey good people,

I have a small condo, no more than 750 sq feet. Would like a safe as holding metal in a bank makes nervous. Can't seem to find anything that is both small and actually useful. Safes in the $300 zone appear to be crackable in a few minutes or less. What is the point of the safe?

Legitimate stuff that can withstand 1 to 2 hours, costs a ton of money and not sure where in my condo I can place it. I do have an interior wall made of cinder, so plan to affix to that, but not sure if that is the best move.
 

Weatherman

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#2
The best idea I know is to have a cheap and light weight safe. Put some costume jewelry and a few inexpensive coins (USA coins that are old but newer than 1964 will look like they have value, but they won't cost much to buy) inside. Then put the safe inside a closet, but don't bolt it down so it will be easy to carry off. The idea is that a thief will grab the safe and hopefully go away without doing a destructive search on the rest of your stuff. With a little luck, after opening the safe, the bad guy will think that you just didn't have anything worth stealing.

Meanwhile, look for good places to hide your real valuables. Maybe under the fridge or oven, or possibly between the studs behind the sheetrock you will replace. Needless to say, you should avoid talking about what you have or where you have it. Silence is golden, and great for silver too!
 

GOLDBRIX

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#3
Along the lines of Weatherman think "camouflage" like a DIY bookshelf with doors on the bottom attach a small safe inside there. Odds and Ends or useable lamp on very top, Stereo, Books, magazines, and framed photos fill the shelves - THESE AREAS can be used all the time. Place big old photos in front of the safe and more books covering the top. Put the bookshelf on the end of or behind a couch or loveseat so that if one is scouring your place the bottom requires some observation and moving heavy furniture to check that bottom section.

If you happen to have cabinets above you refrigerator and one has to reach over or pull the frig out to easily get to the cabinets that could also be a good place to attach a small safe to the back wall. Place thin Cracker, Pancake Mix boxes, Mix Packs,... in front for the first things the crook to see.

Criminals are like electricity they go to the line of least resistance and time is of the essence in most cases. Get In - Get Out.

This works well with W.m.'s obvious faux safe w/ cheapies.

FYI - Under beds, and in closets are usually checked after drawers are ransacked.

Remember if it takes you a little time to get to your safe ( You know where it/they are) it will take thieves much longer to scout and ransack to find it/them.

FROM: 30+ years of working around the Criminally Incompetent
 

ttazzman

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#4
safes that do not have a tl type rating are easy to crack so theft rating is really a non issue...better to hide the metal....fire protection however is a different issue...small safes can provide some level of fire protection ...but you can get the same or better protection buy just building a box out of sheet rock that is 3+ layers thick...some appliances can provide protection also.....such as ovens...freezers ....etc..(obviously gold due to it being less bulky is easier to hide per $)

main thing is to think outside the box .....<<both literally and figuratively

edit....you mentioned a "cinder block" wall......cinder block is very fireproof and has cavities if they were not filled ..i would be tempted to cut a hole where there was a cavity the size of a double or tripple light switch then store inside put in a removeable light switch box filled with rock wool insulation and a blank cover......tossin out ideas..
 

GOLDBRIX

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#5
ttazz. You reminded me. The old metal strongboxes w/ insulated interiors would be great if you can still find any.

You could put one up in the framework of a Couch or love seat. Nowadays these are heavy in their own right Most have metal base framing so those small size strongboxes could be attached on top of that frame work's underside.
 

rkd80

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#6
Interesting. Consensus seems to be hide/conceal rather than find some uber safe. I sort of loved the notion of having this big 'ol sturdy box where I can put my cash/valuables, totally James Bond like. Yet the more I dwell on it, the more the safe itself becomes a huge attractive Neon sign flashing 'VALUABLES'.

If I were living at a house, then I would just bury the damn thing and be done with it.

Alas, condo living has its drawbacks.

What about in general the issue of humidity, no one mentioned anything. Is that a worry? Would a tight plastic cover handle that issue?
 

latemetal

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#7
Hiding works for condos and apartments, got an electric stove? remove pan drawer-hide stuff-replace drawer, and so on.
 

ttazzman

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Interesting. Consensus seems to be hide/conceal rather than find some uber safe. I sort of loved the notion of having this big 'ol sturdy box where I can put my cash/valuables, totally James Bond like. Yet the more I dwell on it, the more the safe itself becomes a huge attractive Neon sign flashing 'VALUABLES'.

If I were living at a house, then I would just bury the damn thing and be done with it.

Alas, condo living has its drawbacks.

What about in general the issue of humidity, no one mentioned anything. Is that a worry? Would a tight plastic cover handle that issue?
A good truely theft resistant safe is very expensive,heavy etc.

Moisture really isnt a issue with precious metals themselves (evidenced by all the gold silver recovered from hundreds of years old shipwrecks)
 

GOLDBRIX

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#9
When it comes to rounds, coins and humidity. The only issue I've seen is the silvers in paper rolls or lying directly on wood inside drawers over years to decades of time.
Most toning on Sil. Dol., halves, quarters and dimes comes from coins long lived in paper rolls.
I had a Black Sil.Dol. that was found in the back of a chest drawers I purchased at an auction in the Southeast. It even left a dark round spot on the wood in the drawer.

Plastic Single/Double sleeves or even Zip Lock bags I've had ZERO issues.
 

GOLDBRIX

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#10
I sort of loved the notion of having this big 'ol sturdy box where I can put my cash/valuables, totally James Bond like.
I hate to bust your bubble but even most jewelry, pawn shops, and most banks conceal their safe locations these days.
Very few places these days have massive vault doors in public view.

Outa Sight outa Mind.

Now if you deal with a 70-100 year old bank building . IDK
 

dacrunch

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#13
"safes" only attract attention...

uh... bathroom medicine-cabinet/mirror encased in wall?
- remove 4 screws, pull out cabinet, and behind, on the sides or below, open partition just wide enough for 100 oz silver bars etc... Then place cabinet back in wall, place screws, and that's it...

Or if tall baseboard around floor... remove a strip... and access partition...

A/C or Heating vents? 4 screws...

Toilet tank?

Wall cabinet? - make it less deep with "fake back"...
 
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hammerhead

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A bucket or 2 of joint compound.
edit As i didn't think of elaborating on this. Wrap their valuables in plastic and submerge them in the joint compound. Doesn't attract much attention and you may even get a fire resistance out of it.
 
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SheepDog68

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#15
If you own it your options are better!

In a small place with a non tensioned concrete slab a floor safe might be the answer you're looking for! My grandparents had one years ago hidden well enough that it was years before I knew it was there!

SD
 

searcher

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hammerhead

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At a customers house yesterday and as I was eating the lunch she prepared me I saw box with a couple of blue velvet covered cases on her dining room table. They were National Mint 20 dollar coins and some collector sets. Certificate stated they were 10 mil clad 24 karat gold. Personally not one to be able to differentiate a real gold coin from a fake one, I pondered what good these duplicates would be other than to the people selling them. Then I thought these would be good throw downs. If they were placed in a dresser drawer under some clothing, a thief may think they hit jack pot and head for the door.
 

Treasure Searcher

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#18
Search Craigslist for used safes for sale. There are a variety that appear from time to time. If you buy one, joke to the seller that you want one to put your high school diploma in it. Never say you are a PM collector! Have a locksmith change the combination.

If it is a small safe, chain it down or anchor it another way to keep or hamper the thief from readily walking away with it.

Sad to say, but losing PM's will be likely caused by someone in your household. Divorce, relative with a massive spending habit (gambling, living a high lifestyle, drug and/or alcohol abuse, etc.) will set their sights on those PM's and run off with them.
 

hammerhead

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Sad to say, but losing PM's will be likely caused by someone in your household. Divorce, relative with a massive spending habit (gambling, living a high lifestyle, drug and/or alcohol abuse, etc.) will set their sights on those PM's and run off with them.
Most valuable post yet.
 

mayhem

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#20
@Goldhedge
I used two 100 oz bars painted OD green as door stops for about 15 years. No one ever commented, ever. Pawned them off on cubed about 10 years ago.