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Stolen Tiny Cabin in Loon Lake, WA Recovered

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One of the downfalls of tiny houses is that unfortunately they can sometimes be vulnerable to theft.

When I hear about something like this happening I think about how we can help prevent this from happening altogether because it’s so frustrating.

I wrote a post about that here a while back but I’m always looking for more ideas and preventative measures we can take. So if you have any of your own ideas and even design tips feel free to share links, etc. in the comments below (or in this post).

In this case this tiny cabin was stolen right from its foundation and towed away during the day. Fortunately, it was found a day later and recovered by deputies thanks to a local news story that aired locally. The cabin measures 10′ x 20′. Unfortunately, many of their personal items are now missing and parts of the cabin were damaged during the theft.

Stolen Tiny Cabin in Loon Lake, Washington Recovered

Stolen Tiny Cabin

What tips do you know of that you might be able to share on preventing a tiny structure from being stolen from your property?

One tip I have is that it helps to share the property with other people (like family and friends). This way you can each have your own space and look after each other when someone is away.

Video: Stolen Tiny House

Video: Recovered Tiny House!

Original news story: http://www.krem.com/story/news/local/stevens-county/2015/04/09/loon-lake-stolen-cabin-found/25523067/

First story: http://www.krem.com/story/news/crime/2015/04/08/small-cabin-stolen-foundation-near-loon-lake/25486953/

Our big thanks to Carol Cavette for tipping us on this story.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 21 comments… add one }
  • JT SpectreWriter
    April 11, 2015, 11:35 am

    Why not put a LoJack type device in it. Car dealers are getting them for about $130 each.

    • Carol
      April 11, 2015, 11:03 pm

      LoJack is a great idea!

  • Wolf
    April 11, 2015, 11:45 am

    I think a good investment would be just enough solar, battery, controller, converter, motion detector, camera and cell appl to alert you when anything moves inside your inner sanctum. Bear, human, raccoon and then see it on your smartphone.

  • Dee
    April 11, 2015, 11:48 am

    I was wondering if one could attach a hidden tracking device somewhere. Kind of like Lo-Jack?

  • kat
    April 11, 2015, 12:05 pm

    There are now many companies that offer this kind of service.


    Hide the tag, and the moment the place starts moving you’ll get notified on your smartphone. It’s like Find My iPhone for your house.

  • jannezack
    April 11, 2015, 12:09 pm

    I have a friend who installed a tiny camera in his truck on the rear-view mirror. Then put a decal on the driver’s and passenger’s window that read something like this: “Smile, you are on candid camera. Warning to you who may be considering breaking into this vehicle, your picture has already been sent to the owner of this truck who will forward it to police should you decide to break in” (or something similar). Basically he had a truck-batery operated camera that would take your picture. I don’t know if it was motion detector or glass breakage detector, but basically, my friend got a message on his cell phone every time something suspicious happened. I’m SURE you could do the same thing with solar panels and some type of wifi or cell phone operated devise. BUT, that’s a lot of sugar for a nickel as my mamaw used to say. If it’s on a foundation, a coulple of good bolts into the slab will do the trick, but won’t keep someone from breaking into your house. Doors and locks are only needed for honest people. If someone wants your stuff, they can get it. SO, don’t become too attached and have it insurred. Just saying!

  • harri
    April 11, 2015, 1:23 pm

    low jack detector hidden in rafters and alarm if moved from base

    • Alex
      April 12, 2015, 8:12 am

      Good call Harri!

  • Canyon Man
    April 11, 2015, 2:20 pm

    I thin another option is to mark the house with identifying marks, numbers or information in an area the thieves would not readily find. Information given to the police can return stolen items years later. I have had marked items returned ten years after they were stolen out of a storage building. Once the home is marked, take a picture for your file. This should stand up in any court.

    • Alex
      April 12, 2015, 8:12 am


  • jim
    April 11, 2015, 3:32 pm

    People dont realize that these tiny houses are sometimes peoples HOMES. You may think its just stealing someones things but your taking someones home away from t hem. Their place to feel safe. Please people, think before you steal. (Im not implying im just saying. There are still good people out there)

  • Lisa E.
    April 11, 2015, 3:47 pm

    I’d build a wrap-around deck out of cinder blocks and cement with a wood deck top. No one in their right mind would want to go through all that just to move a tiny cabin.

  • Steve
    April 11, 2015, 4:47 pm

    TIME and ATTENTION are two main deterrents.
    How about jacking up the house and removing the wheels or replacing the wheels and tires with wheels and no tires?
    I used to own a Cotroen vehicle and it had hydraulic suspension. When the car was parked, the hydraulics lowered the car onto the tires so it couldn’t be towed or roll away.

  • Den
    April 11, 2015, 6:37 pm

    You need install some where in the secret place in cabin GPS tracer like this: X-Keeper Invis DUOS. In Russia we often install this tracer in our cars, it very help to find stolen car.

  • Sarah
    April 13, 2015, 11:58 am

    Could put it on blocks and take the tires off or even deflate them. Is there a way to disable the tow hitch? If so that would be another option. If it can’t be towed, it can’t be stolen.

  • April 13, 2015, 12:49 pm

    I recommend a defense in depth:
    1. Notify neighbors – you will let them know if you sell your home… If someone comes by call the police
    2. Notify the police if you are gone over a few days
    3. Get a trailer hitch lock
    4. Block, lock or remove the wheels
    5. Add a porch, planters or similar hurdles between your home and the roadways.
    6. Add a gps tracker like the one below ($35 + $10 for a phone card)
    a. Tracker:
    b. Phone card: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LI78YM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    With the GPS tracker you can identify a geo-boundary or a movement distance. Once crossed you get a call from the GPS to your phone as your home travels. It treats your home as a cell phone, with tracking directly to you (no middle company that charges a fee). It runs on 12v. I have one and installed it on my car. I just called my car and it responded: Lat: 37.664008, Lon: -95.46053. Putting 37.664008, -95.46053 into Google maps shows my units current location within 5-10 feet. The antenna can be mounted non obtrusively on the roof (there are two small antennas, the size of the tip of your little finger)

  • Peter Piper
    April 13, 2015, 5:08 pm

    Well, that’s just shitty. I wish good people didn’t have to live on the same planet with bad people.

  • April 13, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Funny……..(not ha ha funny)…….I was at a one of those well-known tiny house workshops and I specifically asked about preventing theft. The female facilitating the workshop gave some flip answer… “well, it would be pretty easy to recover seeing it go down the road”

  • Jennifer Roberts
    April 14, 2015, 8:55 am

    Low jack boot that cops use to put on people’s tires. You can put it on every time you leave the house. They can’t take it off your tire there for your wheels won’t move your house stays put.

  • April 15, 2015, 10:58 am

    These are all excellent ideas. I’d like to add that I was never burglarized when I owned 2 vehicles. My place was broken into twice when I only had one. A windowless van picked up from a salvage yard serves 2 purposes. Storage and security. My van makes it look like someone is home. When I leave my place I keep the blinds closed, music on, and my van parked out front.

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