Americans seem to love tiny homes for the freedom they provide--financial freedom, freedom from clutter and material possessions, and the freedom to travel. But what happens when someone takes advantage of the freedom to move around in a portable residence and steals someone's entire tiny home? writer Angela Colley profiles software engineer Casey Friday, who spent two years and $35,000 building a tiny home in Spring Branch, Texas, only to get a phone call in December 2013 letting him know that his entire home had been stolen.

Suddenly the risks of living in a home that’s essentially portable seem all too clear. Home burglaries can happen to anyone—but having your entire house picked up and dragged off is unique to the burgeoning trend of tiny homes. While no national statistics on the theft of tiny homes exist, Casey’s story became a wake-up call for the entire community and those who are thinking of buying in: What can you do to keep a tiny home safe from theft?

Here are some tips to help protect a tiny home:

  • The best way to prevent the whole home from being stolen is to remove the wheels and put the house on supports
  • But if you want to keep the home mobile, install locks on the individual wheels
  • Lock up the tongue, the part of the trailer that is attached to the hitch of a vehicle
  • If you want to go a more economical route, weaving a steel cable through the wheels and locking both ends together with a padlock will provide some security
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