All About Locksmith Daily

Diversion Safes: Characteristics And Implications

Jun 1

When permitted by law, police enforcement agents routinely undertake comprehensive searches of people' homes, offices, and other personal places during investigations and other everyday activities. As a consequence, criminals try to conceal unlawful objects in the event of a search, and they may do so by concealing them in "diversion safes."

Diversion safes are advertised as a method to secure one's assets, which is their legal function. Diversion safes disguised as everyday home goods, on the other hand, might offer criminals with a simple hiding spot for incriminating materials like drugs, firearms, and cash. Diversion safes were initially reported on by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in 1997, and the product lines have grown even more since then.

Law enforcement officers must be aware of the many types of safes accessible, as well as the numerous online and brick-and-mortar companies that offer them. This information may assist investigators in identifying the containers and, as a result, uncover unlawful substances that would otherwise go undiscovered during a standard search. The popularity of this distraction method, the sorts and qualities of accessible items, and the potential influence on police' efforts must all be learned by law enforcement professionals.


In recent years, the number of diversion-safe product lines has grown substantially, as has the number of Internet and retail stores selling these items. Both of these things make it simpler than ever for people to buy safes and resist inquiries. Diversion safes may be found in a variety of places, including prominent internet sellers and local home goods stores. They are also reasonably priced, with costs ranging from a few dollars to $40.


Many diversion safes might be mistaken for everyday goods. Weapons, for example, may be stashed in mantle clocks, narcotics can be stowed in what looks to be a soda bottle, and money can be stowed in various canisters. The unlawful stuff within the safes may go unnoticed since these items aren't usual hiding locations that cops inspect on a regular basis.

Safes of this kind are designed to appear and feel precisely like the goods they imitate. They're also weighted to feel like a regular object, so even if authorities have a safe, they won't know what's inside until they inspect it carefully and remove the top or bottom. Diversion safes may be disguised as personal care goods, home objects, food, or drinks and come in a variety of forms and sizes.

Because they are remanufactured from the original containers, many safes are precise duplicates of the goods they imitate. A soda can safe, for example, may be touted as a realistic reproduction that feels full of liquid, won't open by mistake, and has a lid that must be screwed on and off to reach the contents. A water bottle safe might include genuine water, with liquid at the bottom and a concealed region behind the label. Candle diversion safes may be used as genuine candles and can burn for up to four hours, reducing suspicion about the item's true purpose.

Functions That Are Legal

A diversion safe might be purchased by anybody for a valid reason (e.g., to thwart potential thieves and conceal valuable possessions). As a result, most safe makers promote their products as a safe deposit box for legal items like jewels or cash. These containers are known as diversion safes because they deflect robbers' attention away from valuables and enable people to keep their riches in plain sight. Manufacturers tout the safes' efficiency in avoiding theft since thieves are typically in a rush and will only take the most conspicuous goods. The containers may promise to conceal whatever the owner does not want discovered in the house, business, automobile, or dorm, according to product descriptions.

Nefarious Intent

While diversion safes may serve a legal function for many consumers, they may also draw thieves' notice. These things may deceive burglars, and they can also deceive police officers during a search. Dangerous materials can readily be hidden in these containers. Because the producers claim that these devices can carry "whatever users need to conceal," this indicates that they may conceal goods like firearms and illicit substances that would convict criminals if found.

Drugs are a common thing to conceal. To this purpose, shops may promote the safes as a location where criminals may hide legally authorized medications. While such advertising may not specifically mention criminal activities, a device touted as a discreet drug storage facility may pique the curiosity of illicit drug users.

Diversion safes have been devised to conceal drugs in little things like skateboard wheels, automobile cigarette lighters, and batteries. A pen diversion safe, which can be purchased for a few dollars, may be used to conceal money and prescription medicines while also serving as a fully functioning pen. When the cap of the pen is unscrewed, a concealed chamber and detachable vial are revealed.

When a professional football player was accused of trying to sneak marijuana past airport security in 2007, the criminal purposes of diversion safes became more well known. He arrived at the airport with a 20-ounce water bottle, which he was informed he couldn't take to his gate by security. Screeners from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) determined that the bottle was really a diversion safe with a concealed compartment holding what seemed to be marijuana when they examined it more carefully. When the bottle was held upright, the compartment was concealed by the label, giving the impression that it was a full bottle of water.

Concealment In Automobiles

Law enforcement has extra hazards when using diversion safes in cars. Because incriminating things are often discovered during roadside searches, many people conceal narcotics and other illicit goods in their vehicles. Diversion safes have become a common form of concealment as a result of this.

Many firms provide vehicle-specific containers, such as a safe that looks like a tire sealant can or a heated coffee cup. Because such items are typically kept in cars, they do not attract the attention of authorities during a search. These safes allow thieves to move illicit stuff in their cars without being detected.

Consequences For Law Enforcement

Many police jobs include searching people's homes, workplaces, and cars. Even during a search, diversion safes are an appealing choice for criminals who want to keep their unlawful objects out of sight of officers. As a result, if relevant evidence is hidden in what seem to be everyday things, these safes may present major challenges for law enforcement.

The increased popularity and availability of diversion safes should raise police' concerns and drive them to be more cautious while searching suspects' personal items. Even when investigated, these safes appear and feel precisely like the goods they imitate, making them very difficult for authorities to detect. As a result, authorities may need to devote more time to searches in order to fully check all potential hiding locations.

Because safe makers pitch their devices as a theft deterrent, marketing materials may suggest that law enforcement officials recommend them. Officers may even publicize that the safes are available for purchase by homeowners.

Versions Built At Home

Many websites provide written and video instructions for making hidden compartments out of everyday things like decks of cards, CD cases, mp3 players, and travel coffee mugs. These educational materials expand the availability and accessibility of safes, particularly for children. Individuals no longer have to spend money on safes or wait for them to be delivered if they can manufacture their own. Such how-to films instruct criminals how to conceal goods that may be of interest to police authorities on the cheap and successfully, especially if they anticipate to have their possessions and property searched.

Concerns Of Parents

Juveniles who seek to conceal unlawful stuff from their parents may be drawn to diversion safes. The Prevent Delinquency Project trains parents how to locate diversion safes in their homes to fight this. Parents may learn about common hiding methods including hollowed-out books, soda cans, and deodorant containers with hidden sections or fake bottoms on the website. It also cautions that obtaining such products has lately become considerably simpler for adolescents.

The site gives essential information on diversion safe trends and news to assist parents in their education; the same information may be beneficial for law enforcement officers. The blog, for example, analyzes "stash" water bottles offered on the Internet and advises that while the top and bottom parts of the bottles contain water, parents typically ignore them. If parents and law enforcement officers are aware of these innovative strategies, they will be better able to prevent youngsters from obtaining harmful things.


Many individuals, without a doubt, want to hide their belongings for a variety of reasons. Teenagers keeping booze from their parents, homeowners protecting jewels from possible robbers, and drug addicts storing marijuana in their cars are all examples of this. For all of these groups, diversion safes are an appealing means of concealment. As a result, the safes have a high chance of being used. The great number and range of firms and shops that sell these safes, as well as the large number and variety of safes accessible, illustrates their popularity.

Despite their potentially legal use, diversion safes in the hands of criminals may pose major challenges for law enforcement. Diversion safes may be used to hide contraband in homes, businesses, automobiles, baggage, and other places where searches are conducted. Officers may allow unlawful goods to pass through a search unnoticed if they are unaware of these things. Because these safes are so similar to the goods they imitate, police must be on the lookout for ordinary items with hidden compartments. This may need lengthier and more thorough searches to ensure that all possible hiding spots are investigated. Officers can spot illegal conduct and unearth objects of evidential value if they are more aware of this diversion method.