Posts Tagged ‘decoy safe’



We spend a great amount of time discussing PM (precious metal) security/storage. One glance at today’s headlines show why.  I will not approach today’s topic as an alarmist, this does little good. The objective is to provide several options making you as comfortable as possible storing PM at home. You are forewarned, we will provide disturbing examples of exactly how brazen home invasion is today.

We are long past the age of solely relying on a gun safe to protect in home valuables.  Although part of a plan, stand alone PM protection can no longer be viewed as one dimensional. Of course, the odds are you’ll not be victimized by home invasion, but do you really want to chance it?

The facts are home invasion crimes are a growing problem thus requires a progressive plan of protection.  Here are but just a few facts.

  1. Home invasion crimes are not limited to big cities.
  2. Home invasion crimes are not limited to elderly or single women.
  3. Home invasion crimes are not limited to evening hours.
  4. Home invasion crimes are on the rise.
  5. Worsening economy equals more risk.
  6. Rising PM values equals more risk.

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (CBS) April 12, 2012 A 99-year-old woman was duct-taped in a chair and attacked in her own home in southwest suburban Romeoville on Wednesday (along with her son).

Ann Budzinski, who turned 99 on Saturday, talked to CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov on Thursday about what the three attackers did to her and her disabled son over the weekend.

She said one of the attackers grabbed her forearm and pushed her down.

“Then I noticed I was bleeding,” she said. “I figured I better not scream or nothing, because you don’t know what they’re gonna do.”

He said one of the attackers had come to their door around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, claiming he needed to check the water pressure at their house. When he tried to shut the door on that man, two others helped the stranger barge into the house.

“I had a stick there with me that I use when I go out, and I was going to hit the guy with it,” Ann said. “That’s how he grabbed me, and he pulled me. Then I almost fell down, then he pushed me on the chair.”

James said the robbers threatened to kill them if they didn’t tell the trio where they kept their safe or jewelry.

“I said ‘We don’t have any, we’re on Social Security,’” he said.

“It scared me, but it didn’t hurt, and I guess I felt kind of numb,” his mother said.

The Budzinskis said the intruders were at the house for about 25 minutes, ransacking the home for valuables, stealing some plastic costume jewelry and cash from a recent garage sale.

Ann’s arm was cut in the attack, but – even at 99 years old – she said “I feel fine.” Morehere.

Below is one last example of home invasion risk. Please be warned this one is disturbing and some readers will find reading very uncomfortable.

Second Example:

Source: COIN CRIMES February, 2012Robbery of a gold coin collection worth an estimated half-million dollars was the apparent motive when intruders slit the throats of three people, killing two men and critically wounding a woman in their Gonzales home over the weekend, the Ascension Parish Sheriff said Sunday.

Businessman Robert Irwin Marchand, 74, and his stepson Douglas Dooley, 50, were killed in their home at 39122 Babin Road, said Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley.

Marchand’s wife and Dooley’s mother, Shirley Marchand, 72, was “clinging to life” Sunday as she underwent emergency surgery at a local hospital, Wiley said.

The brutal slayings probably occurred between 12 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday, Wiley said.


Sheriff’s deputies went to the home about 10 p.m. Saturday to check on the Marchands after Dooley’s wife, who lives in Tennessee and speaks daily with Dooley, had been unable to reach him for more than 12 hours, Wiley said.

When deputies received no response at the door, they peered through the windows, Wiley said, noting nothing out of the ordinary — and no signs of a break-in — until they came to an office on the far left side of the house where they saw three bodies covered in blood.

Deputies forced open the door and realized Shirley Marchand was still alive, Wiley said. All three victims were fully clothed, and each had signs of trauma on their bodies, indicating the intruders used a “blunt object” as well as a knife, he said.

“This department is working non-stop to identify and capture the killers,” Wiley said.

Though Marchand’s critical condition prevented her from being able to speak with police, investigators are reviewing footage from three surveillance videos in the area, Wiley said.

“We’re not at a standstill by any means,” Wiley said of the investigation.

There are a few clues that lead police to think the intruders may have known the victims, he said.

One clue is that the house had no signs of forced entry, which could either indicate the door was left unlocked, or that the victims had willingly let the intruders in, Wiley said.

The sheriff said that detectives believe there was more than one attacker, particularly because Dooley was a large man and would not have been easily subdued.

But the primary clue, Wiley said, was that the intruders had known to take Robert Marchand’s safe, which contained hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gold coins, while a desktop computer, laptops and cellphones in the house were left untouched.

Robert Marchand’s gold coin collection, which included coins that dated back to the 1800s, was divided into five “groups,” Wiley said. One of the groups was known to be worth $104,000, he said.

An outsider would have never known that the Marchands’ modest home contained an estimated $500,000 in gold coins, he said.

“It was clearly not random,” Wiley said. “We think it had to be planned.” Read more here.


DISCRETION:  Think about this for a moment. Someone else always knows when you store PM in home. This person, or persons, is usually trust worthy but an acquaintance, cousin, relative of a cousin, or friend, possibly not as reliable.  Your first step against home invasion begins with discretion when buying, storing, and selling.

Never buy face to face unless trading at a trusted coin shop or show. Never use social networks or sites like Craigslist to buy or sale PM.  Always use prudence before, during and after the sell.

STORING:  We are soon to release an e-book called STORING SILVER & GOLD (June 2012) here at The Prospector Site. The research invested in preparing for such a book release was nothing short of worthwhile.

Your storage plan must include multiple levels of safe storage practices including three or more storage options. We have no way of knowing for sure but our suspicions are over 75% of all physical silver and gold stores in owner’s homes.  If this includes you please read closely.

Thieves, home invaders if you will, all have a few things in common. They want to leave with something perceived precious as quickly as possible. Your storage plan must allow both if your home victimized. This means decoy metal stored in a decoy safe is recommended as a necessary part of your home storage plan.

Home security experts all agree around 70% of intruders do so by way of doors or windows. This includes everything from kicking in a door to impersonating a trusted professional. Doors and windows are easily secured with minimal cost (email us for more information). Knowing who to trust (at the door) is more challenging especially depending where you call home.

The truth is no one should expect 100% protection . Homes are where we live and raise our families. They are NOT security vaults or fortress like compounds. This requires each PM owner to have realistic expectations about home security. In my view, you must realize three or more storage options carry less risk by providing multiple levels of security that your home can’t.

Many of our readers are against storing PM anywhere outside their property (home). They feel the risk is just too great by trusting banks, vaults, or international storage. This is not necessarily true and certainly wasn’t the case for the victims we described above.


I want to disclose that I’m not a security expert by any means. I have researched endlessly and can honestly say the first minute of a home invasion is critical. The time to prepare for such an unlikely occurrence is today.  Here is what my research reveals as prudent.

  • Assess their goal. Why are they in your home? Are they professional or drug addicts looking for something to turn into cash? Are they agitated or calculated? Do they know the home (floor plan, family, etc)? What is their goal RIGHT NOW!
  • What will it take to immediately get them to leave? We know their goal is to steal something of perceived value. Do they know you have PM in home? If not, they will accept decoy metal without question, at least in most cases.  You must decide if offering up decoy metal is wise UNDER YOUR SITUATION. This last point is most important. Silver and gold are replaceable (yes expensive but replaceable), family is not.


Comment (regarding last Friday’s post called Rivers of SilverThis question has already been answered – junk silver! Pre-1965 US minted coins, primarily dimes and quarters, but including half dollars, are 90% silver. Called “junk” silver (no numismatic quality), American silver coins are less than an ounce and readily available by the roll or the bag ($100, $250, $1,000).

Picking up a $100 bag of 90% junk silver quarters or dimes (71.5 oz, FDR or Mercury) is easy at most coin shows or shops. Look into junk silver!

PROSPECTOR REPLY:  Thanks for the comment. You make a great observation by mentioning how relevant junk silver will soon be. Junk silver coins are fractional silver and do offer small silver denominated trade. The problem arises when we consider only a limited amount of junk silver is available (they are not making more junk silver). This is great for those owning junk but not for the masses new to silver and gold. Great point, I think I’ll buy another bag of junk someday soon.


I pity the poor/rich people who bought Gold & Silver off TV ads and the internet. They should have known that the government will order the names, addresses and the amount of gold or silver they purchased / and then go to their doors and demand it or go to JAIL.Just like all those dummies who registered their firearms / they too will be tracked down and their guns taken or go to JAIL.

PROSPECTOR REPLY: Thanks for the comment. I agree most forms of government are to the point of overreaching but doubt silver and gold is atop the list, as you mention. Why, because silver and gold are far less relevant today? Let me explain, gold once was the anchor of most currencies. This “gold anchor” (gold standard) limited reckless spending and fiscal insanity. But this is no longer the case and hasn’t been since 1971.

The overreach you mention is likely but far more likely via taxation of more common assets (compared to confiscating PM). It is much easier to raise property taxes, capital gains taxes, etc, than go door to door looking for ounces of silver or gold. This doesn’t mean PM holders should expect exclusion because I’m sure some “creative” means to levy your PM is possible, maybe probable.


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