The Bad Guy’s Guide for Spotting and Stealing from Preppers

Disclaimer: No, I haven’t lost my mind. This article is part of  a new category titled “prepper fiction”, as well as an exercise to help you see through the eyes of the bad guy to uncover and fix holes in your survival and preparedness plans.

Will the SHTF? Maybe. I’m too lazy to prep for anything. I don’t think something will happen but I sure as heck know where to go and what to do if it does.

See, I already know a few of these “preppers”. They’re ridiculous if you ask me. Prepping for everything so meticulously. Spending all their money on things they’re never going to use.

Little do they know that I have my eyes on them. I’ve been a professional thief since I was 5. I’m an expert. I don’t need to work in order to get what I want. And when IT finally happens, I’ll be able to get what I want when I want.

How? Ok, I’ll tell you. But you gotta promise you won’t spread the word – this is just too good.

It all starts with awareness. I know it may sound silly coming form someone with my “background” but trust me, it’s not what you see with your eyes, it’s what you see with your mind.

And these preppers are all the same. They all read the same stuff, do the same things to prepare and think they’re original. They may be ahead of most people but they follow a pattern and don’t even know it.

Next is fitness. Many preppers aren’t able to catch a bus, let alone run from someone like me. The moment I spot a person who looks overweight, I instantly know that I can take whatever they have during or after a disaster. Heck, I could do it right now just to prove it to you.

They can read all the military manuals in the world, I’m more fit, which means I can take most of them down in a one on one confrontation. No, I won’t be going for the survivalist type, I’m talking about the average prepper, preferably those without guns.

I train hard but I don’t have the money to go to the gym. Don’t need to. I can do it all at home with just my body weight and a few dumb-bells and a rope. I pay particular attention to flexibility because, if I run into a strong prepper, I want to have an edge on him. Plus, with all the houses I’ll break into, I have to be able to jump obstacles, fend off opponents, and so on.

Where will I get food? Preppers with a few extra pounds are most likely to focus on stockpiling for the coming collapse. They may or may not be focusing on self-defense and home security but that’s not a problem for me. I already know how to pick a lock and they probably don’t have reinforced doors. Even if they do, I’ll surely find another way in, such as through the attic or a basement window they didn’t even think about. If I can get into the basement (usually neglected as far as security is concerned), I’m a happy man.

How do I spot who has food and who doesn’t? After a few weeks, most people are going to be skinny from not having anything to eat. Stress and depression will get to all of us. But some preppers will have food to comfort them and they’ll be easy to spot because they’ll just look well-fed.

Bartering? I prefer “free”, thank you very much.

Wanna know how to quickly figure out who has valuable stuff and who doesn’t? People who’re willing to barter, of course. I just have to pretend to be interested in something basic such as food, water or medicine. The people willing to trade those resources with me are the ones who have too many and I’ll gladly take that extra supply off their hands.

I show up to the meeting but I won’t negotiate to get what they’re offering. Every word coming out of my mouth will be to get more information about what they have, their situation, and so on. I’ll also be trying to determine if they have guns or if they’re part of a survival group.

Next, I’ll follow them home! I’m good at that, you know. Once I find out where the goodies are, I’ll have plenty of time to figure out how to get them.

Home defense. You think I’m stupid? Everyone knows that some of them are going to provide me with only one way in. Every article on the Internet pertaining to home defense knows that it’s a trap. We thieves have internet as well, you know.

I don’t care about dogs, I can take care of them. Easy. Now, if there’s a dog on the inside, that would be a problem because if it starts to bark, I’m done. I usually target homes that are easy (open doors and reckless owners) but, if things were to go south, I’d surely take more chances to feed myself. There are going to be a lot more people like me looting, anyway, so I expect it to be tougher. I expect to go to friggin’ war every night.

Being a “grey man”? Oh, please.No one can do that better than me. I sure as heck don’t look like a homeless guy. In fact, many people instinctively trust me when they meet me. It’s all about understanding human nature. Many preppers will fall into this trap. They think they know how to spot looters but will be left penniless by someone who looks just like me.

I can dress not to stand out too. In fact, the moment I perceive you have resources, I may do the same just so you can trust me more. A cool smartphone, a nice watch. I’ll “accidentally” make sure you see them just so you can think to yourself: “Nah, this guy? I’d trust him with my life.”

Guns? Nah, I ain’t allowed to carry them anymore. I got busted a while back so I had to improvise. I’m good at making alternative weapons out of nothing. The time in jail taught me a lot, you know.

Bunkers. Oh man, if I had a map of all the bunkers in the country, I wouldn’t have to break into any more homes. Bunkers are death traps post-collapse. I can easily smoke anyone out as long as I can find the air vent. Bunkers are usually chock-fully of supplies because only rich folks can afford bunkers.

OK, pay attention, kid, this is the most important thing I want you to learn. Save the best for last, eh? There’s an easy way to spot preppers and that’s to engage them in conversation. Many preppers immediately jump into conversations about liberals and how they screwed up the U.S. This is your queue that you may be dealing with someone who’s prepping AND it’s a fantastic way to gain their trust.

Feel their pain, share their worries and, if you have the balls, offer to keep in touch and form “a survival group”. They’ll never suspect what I really am as long as I show them that I myself am a prepper.

Dan’s Notes

As I stated in the beginning, this is a work of fiction and is designed to get you to see preparedness from a different perspective. I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t trust anyone, it’s a matter of “how much”.

About Dan F. Sullivan

Dan F. Sullivan
My dad was military. My grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But I don't like taking orders. I'm taking matters into my own hands so I'm not just preparing, I'm going to a friggin' war to provide you the best of the best survival and preparedness content out there.


  1. Avatar

    Very good story. Another good story would be about the guy who’s basement flooded when a pipe bust and all his stuff got water logged. Or 10,000 rounds of ammo and no spare parts for his weapon.

    It is a good idea to know who your talking to…. I haven’t come across any thieves but a friend did get in trouble with the ATF.

  2. Avatar

    True Story:
    Two preppers were in the garden/hardware store buying seeds and tools for their gardens and discussing their concern about the future. One of them turned to the man clerking and asked whether he had a garden, to which he responded as he pulled a pistol out of the drawer beneath the register, “Why do I need one? I have this and I know everyone who has a garden because they buy their stuff in here.”

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