Why Don't Burglars Just Steal Safes Instead?

By Paul Erickson
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - 1:12pm

Safes stay put by design.

Burglars can be crafty. If you are smart enough to be shopping for a home jewelry safe, you probably already know that fact.

You might wonder what keeps a thief from just taking the whole safe. Why couldn’t they pick up the safe and go? Or plan ahead? The most obvious reason is weight. Safes have thick walls that tend to weigh hundreds of pounds, usually. What are some of the less obvious reasons a burglar will think twice about breaking into your house and making off with your new safe?

It is Not Very Stealth
Burglars need to travel light. Carrying awkwardly large tools or bringing labor increases the odds something will go wrong. In order to take the entire safe, they need a way to transport it out of the house. For most pieces including home jewelry safes, that means a hand truck or enough people to carry the weight.

Think about when you move, how awkward it is for several people to carry a heavy item. Now imagine doing it in the dark in a room where you are not familiar with the layout. A hand truck or transport tool is just another thing that will make noise. More people means whispering and an increased chance of leaving evidence.

A burglar who has done his homework will know a stealth way to get out of the house without triggering an alarm or alerting anyone. That becomes harder when you are trying to manage an awkward, heavy item.

It is Not Very Convenient
Taking the safe with them means they need transportation nearby. That is not impossible, but when stealing small valuables like those kept in a home jewelry safe, the burglar may park further away or not drive at all. That all changes if they want to take the safe with them. Now they not only need transportation, but it has to be near the door. 

It is Not Very Smart
A burglar doesn’t know what is in the safe. It is an assumption that it has something worth stealing inside. Safes are decoys at times, especially in well-to-do areas. Home jewelry safes are left empty because they catch the attention of a thief. Stealing a safe and finding it empty is enough to ruin a burglar’s day.

It is Not Really That Easy
Some safes are attached to a part of the house for this very reason. The installer may build them into a wall or secure them to the floor. Now the burglar has to bring tools to cut off a piece of the house. That means noise and time, two things he or she can’t afford.

There is no guarantee a burglar won’t walk off with the entire home jewelry safe, but it presents obstacles, and the more complex the theft is, the more chance the thief has to make a mistake. Opening the safe on site or avoiding it completely is a more practical solution, though the former doesn’t work as often as people are led to believe.