Where Do Burglars Look First? (Spots You Must Secure Now)

If you want to make sure your valuables remain undetected by burglars, you need to understand how burglars behave and think. This includes where burglars look first when they break into a property.

People often hide their valuables in similar areas of their homes and in similar places.

Thieves can thus develop a routine of sorts where they will look through different locations and areas where they know something of value may be hidden. This turns into a numbers game for burglars as they know sooner or later something will pop up.

Where do burglars look first? The first areas burglars look for valuables are master bedrooms, living rooms, studies, and offices. Burglars usually look first in places where people often keep or hide their valuables like drawers, dressers, closets, cupboards, safes, pots, pans, vases, refrigerators, and freezers.

By knowing where a burglar will look first when they break into a certain property, you will be able to avoid some of the most commonly scoured places by burglars. So let’s take a look.

Where Do Burglars Look First

In What Places Do Burglars Look First?

Burglars will usually look for the obvious places first and then go over some of the more secretive spots that people tend to hide their belongings.

Many places that may seem safe are actually not safe at all, as burglars can be well aware of them.

On top of that, if burglars have more time, they can even go through other places and areas of the property, so even well-hidden items are not 100% safe.


Drawers, Dressers, Bedside Tables, Cabinets, and Other Furniture

Burglars will often go through most of your furniture.

They will look in drawers, cabinets, dressers, nightstands, bookshelves, display shelves, liquor cabinets, etc. Hollow sofas and ottomans are also not safe as burglars will often look for any valuables stored inside them.

Contrary to what some may think, locked lockers and cabinets are not safe and can tempt burglars even more. Many of these can have fairly easy locks to pick, too.

That being said, a locked locker or cabinet that contains nothing of value can be a good way to distract burglars and cause them to waste time.



Closets are another place where burglars know they can find a lot of valuables. People like to keep jewelry and other accessories that are well worth stealing.

Even if there are no jewelry or other valuables inside your closet, a burglar may still decide to look for expensive clothing that they can take.



People tend to keep small items and various miscellaneous items, odds and ends inside their cupboards.

Burglars will search through cupboards they know that they may be able to find small valuables in there, including money or keys.


Refrigerators and Freezers

Refrigerators and freezers are another seemingly good spot to hide important items. However, burglars often search them for that very reason.

The problem is that going through the items inside a refrigerator or freezer is done in very little time.


Vases and Jars

Some homeowners may consider vases or different types of jars, including cookie jars, a good spot to hide money and other valuables. But burglars often check them.



Boxes, in general, can attract the attention of most burglars.

Homeowners often tend to store different types of items inside boxes that may be worth stealing. This includes all types of boxes like cardboard boxes, jewelry boxes, shoe boxes, etc.



Suitcases can often contain money, documents, or other valuable items. This makes suitcases worth checking in the eyes of burglars. Even if the suitcase has a lock, nothing prevents the burglar from simply walking away with a locked suitcase which they can open later.


Pots and Pans

Interestingly enough, hiding valuables in pots and pans is not going to provide any benefits as burglars are aware of these practices. On top of all, checking the various pots and pans is quick and easy.



Burglars find safes very tempting. However, not all safes are created equal. Some safes can be picked and opened very quickly.

And if the safe is not built-in into a wall or bolted down to something sturdy, nothing prevents the burglar from simply walking away with it.

That being said, even safes that have been secured correctly are not completely safe as burglars can decide to pry it off using a truck.

Much like locked cabinets and drawers, locked safes can be used to distract burglars and lead them into thinking there may be something valuable inside.


Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinets are also not safe.

Most people will have various medications stored in their medicine cabinets which burglars may find of interest—especially when it comes to prescription medications.


Picture Frames

It does not take much time or effort to flip the pictures on a wall to see if there is anything behind them. Because of this, it is usually not a good idea to hide valuables behind pictures or inside picture frames.


Under Mattresses, Beds, and Pillows

Hiding valuables under beds, mattresses, and pillows is probably the oldest trick in the book.

However, all it takes is a few seconds for a burglar to really check any of these places, making them unsuitable places for hiding your valuables.


Areas Near the Front Door

Burglars may often search the areas near and around the front door. They may check the areas on top of the door (the door ledge), under the doormat, and inside potted plants. They can also check for fake rocks, under stepping stones, and inside mailboxes.

Usually, they will be looking for keys that they can use to access the property, the garage, or the shed.


In What Rooms Do Burglars Look First?

Burglars will typically look in rooms that are more likely to contain something of value.

According to some burglars, the first room they look at is the living room. Other rooms that burglars will check first are the bedrooms, offices, and bathrooms. These areas are great places for burglars to search as they often contain valuable items, a lot of technology, electronics, documents, etc.

Children’s rooms can also be checked for valuable items like tablets, smartphones, laptops, and gaming systems, although some burglars have said that they will usually avoid the kids’ rooms.

If burglars have enough time, they can even check basements, attics, and garages too.


What Do Burglars Look For First?

Burglars look for items that are easy to steal and can have good resale value. Sometimes they may be looking for items that they can use themselves. Usually, we are talking about fairly small items that are easy to carry.

Burglars usually steal:

  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics including smartphones, tablets, computers, computer parts, laptops, and more
  • Keys
  • Watches
  • Prescription drugs
  • Personal information, documents, and paperwork
  • Credit cards
  • Expensive clothing, shoes, and accessories
  • Alcohol
  • Firearms
  • Tools


How to Pick a Place Where Burglars Will Not Think to Look?

So far, you have learned what the first places burglars look for valuables are. Avoiding these places is a good starting position.

But that is not all.

When picking a good place where burglars will not think to look, you need to understand the burglars’ behavior and motivation.

Remember that burglars are often pressed for time, meaning they cannot afford to waste too much time when they break into somebody’s home. Granted, the burglar may have been casing the home for a while in order to find what the best time to break into the property is, but that does not mean they have an infinite amount of time at their disposal.

These are some of the places where burglars may not think to look immediately.

  • Cereal boxes, rice packets, packets of pasta
  • DVD cases
  • Children’s toy boxes and toys
  • Under heavy to move sofas
  • Air vents
  • Behind heavy furniture and appliances (like washing machines and dishwashers)
  • Playrooms
  • Trap door under the carpet
  • Loose floorboards
  • Cat litter box
  • False bottoms in kitchen or bathroom cabinets
  • Inside fake wall socket
  • Under dirty clothes
  • Inside messy rooms
  • Inside toilet tanks
  • In microwaves or ovens
  • Behind drawers

Keep in mind that these are not be-all and end-all of home security, and if the burglar has enough time, they can check some of the suggestions mentioned above, if not all of them.

Sometimes homeowners try to mislead burglars by having locked safes or drawers that contain nothing of value inside or leave fake keys that do not open anything. These are great ways to make a burglar waste a lot of time while looking for valuables.

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How Do Burglars Choose Houses?

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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