Short of placing your most valuable items in a bank-vault security deposit box, it’s virtually impossible to guarantee that you’ll be able to eliminate all risk that your valuables could be stolen by burglars. But there are some simple steps you can take to minimize the risk. Of course, the best defense starts well outside your home’s front door. Implement a security surveillance system that will allow you to see anyone approaching your property. Night-vision-capable cameras will enable your system to track potential intruders no matter how dark it is outside. Just the presence of an active surveillance system is often enough to deter would-be criminals from venturing onto your property. But in the event that burglars do get inside, what’s the best way to minimize potential loss? It helps to understand the mind of a burglar. For starters, they’re looking for lightweight, relatively small, high-value items. Cash, jewels, securities—anything portable and readily converted into cash will do. Research indicates that many professional thieves target the master bedroom first. They know this is the one location in any home that’s most likely to contain marketable valuables. Crafty homeowners often think to thwart theft by hiding items in clever hiding places. But in many instances, burglars will already have thought of these not-so-clever spots. Here are a few to avoid: Freezer If you got the idea from television to stash the jewels in the freezer, mislabeled as mutton chops, chances are burglars have seen the same episode. Don’t bother, or your goose could be cooked. Toilet Tank Another cliché from the movies. What worked in The Godfather is probably simply a bad idea for you. Clothes Hamper Although it might seem like the last place anyone would think to look, it’s not. And besides, who want to wear pearls that smell like old gym socks? The Medicine Cabinet This is among the worst places to attempt to hide valuables. Some thieves will take the time to rummage through the medicine cabinet precisely because they’re seeking valuable drugs to steal. A nice diamond brooch would only sweeten the haul. Children’s Rooms Don’t imagine that children’s rooms will be of no interest. Expensive digital electronics are among the items prized most. They’re often found in kids’ rooms. Lock Boxes A locked box or small safe can often be taken, if not readily breached. It’s too obvious and too irresistible. Don’t stash valuables here, either.