Friday, August 20, 2010

Diversion Tactics



By Heather

I’m easily amused. And distracted. Case in point: I’ve been working on a new proposal where my main character has a bit of a shady background. In one scene I have her describing where some people hide their money.

In some catalogue, somewhere, I knew I’d seen little safes that looked like another object completely. I just didn’t know what to call them. So, I did what any good researcher does.

I Googled.

And lo and behold—a whole new world opened up to me. The world of the “diversion” safe. I spent at least an hour looking at various sites. Look at some of these and you can see why. Electrical sockets, cleansers, mayo jars, books, flower pots... How clever. You know I want the Dr Pepper safe. That would fit right in here at my house. My favorite, though, might be the pillar candle.

The funny thing is I haven’t used these safes in the book yet—I went with a generic Band-aid box. But I have a feeling I will use them at some point.

Now, I’m not going to ask where you hide your valuables, but I will ask you to share the funniest/most interesting place you’ve heard of someone else hiding things. I heard a story once of an old woman who hid her good jewels at the bottom of an ice cream carton (she’d meticulously scooped the ice cream out and replaced it after she stashed her goods). Then one day there was a power outage and one of her kids came over to help clean out the fridge. Yep. He tossed the ice cream in the trash, and no one realized it until it was too late…

13 comments:

Linda McDonald said...

How very cool. I'm going to have to google diversion safes and look at the wide variety they have.

As for hiding valuables, I can't think of anyone I know hiding them anyplace that is funny. However, when I was waiting in the vet's office a month ago, I did see this older lady (who had a very large purse) take all her money out of her bra. She had a big stack of $100.00 dollar bills and paid the vet with some of that money, and then shoved the rest back in her bra. She walked with a cane, and still had a hard time walking, and she had her miniature poodle on a leash, so if someone wanted to steal that purse, it would have been easy. So, I think it was smart she padded her bra with the tons of money she had with her!

jbstanley said...

My grandmother used to keep cash in a bag of frozen peas!

tonya kappes said...

Too funny! This guy in our community hid money on a golf course. He dug several holes around the golf course years ago. He, of course, had embezzled all of it and the FBI is just now finding it. Too clever:)

Heather Webber said...

LOL--I love hearing these stories. These are the type that set my mind spinning--how can I use them in a book? They're too good not to.

Lindy said...

I can't remember what it was called when I bought it about 20 years ago (not "diversion"), I called it a concealment device. It looked like a real spray can of Pledge, and I kept some extra cash in it. I carefully placed it in the closet and told my husband (we were newly married) where it was. About a year later I heard him routing around in that closet, and knowing him better by that time, I went to see what he was doing. Sure enough he came accross the can and said "This one's empty, I'll throw it out." I walked over, took the can, unscrewed the bottom, pulled out the cash and said, "No, it's not." Yep, I got rid of the can (after I took out all the cash). I also read in the paper about a young woman who bought a box of canned food at a yard sale. When she got home she noticed there was something different about a can of soup. She found that the bottom unscrewed, and inside was several thousand dollars worth of cash and jewelry. She was a nice lady--she found out who the can had belonged to and returned the valuables to the owner who was in a nursing home (the story was in the Washington Post maybe 15 years ago).

Sheila Connolly said...

Valuables? What valuables?

After being robbed three (!) times when I lived in a not-so-good neighborhood in California, I decided to put my money in big things like trips. No one can steal your memories.

My grandmother used to tell the tale that when she and her husband bought their first house, during Prohibition, one of the important selling points was a false bottom in a closet--where they could hide their bootleg liquor.

Rebecca said...

My aunt hid her vacation money in the oven. She'd gone to the bank early in the day, (they weren't leaving until my uncle came home from work) and then didn't know what to do with it. She put it in the oven, thinking that would be the perfect hiding place. Around noon, she decided to bake cookies to take for the car ride. You guessed it - she forgot about the money when the oven was preheating. She called my mom in tears, (not wanting my uncle to know what she'd done) wondering what to do because all of the cash was burned around the edges. She ended up taking it back to the bank, and they exchanged it for her. We still remind her about this every time anyone talks about going on vacation.

Laineshots said...

These are some great stories! Someone please put them all into books - they're too good not to read again.

My son just showed me yesterday a dictionary on our library shelves. Looks like a regular dictionary, blends in well...and contains his own valuables. He even showed me where he taped the key. Sometimes I worry about how devious that young man is! He would make a great character.

Chèli said...

I've heard of people taping keys on the backside of a clock pendulum and hiding money behind pictures in a picture frame.

Helen Kiker said...

No clever concealment stories from me today but I did enjoy all the stories that others posted - my big laughs for the day.

Helen Kiker
hdkiker@comcast.net

Vickie said...

I've not hidden anything, but this reminds me of a scene in Big Bang Theory and Sheldon hiding his money in a can of 'snakes' and extra spending money in action figures in the apartment. He thinks he's being sneaky, but Leonard tells Raj that if he needs any cash, there's usually a spare couple of $50s in the Green Lantern's butt.....makes me laugh every time....I love that show.

Maggie Sefton said...

Wow. . .who would have thought? Hmmmmm, I guess I don't have a special place. I will squirrel some antique jewelry in the back of my dresser drawer, but that's the first place any thief would look, probably.

Kelly L said...

My aunt used to hide her valuables in the hole in the ceiling of her closet that went up into the attic. She needed a ladder to reach it. I guess she figured if someone broke in they wouldn't have time to go in the attic to look around or be tall enough to reach it to feel inside.