Just imagine being the police officer who heard a woman scream into the phone that her house had been stolen. Well, that’s exactly what happened the week before Christmas in St. Louis.

Meghan Panu, the woman who called the police as well as the woman who had built her tiny 250 square foot house herself from used and refurbished materials, came “home” to her soon-to-be-occupied tiny house to find it missing. Someone had towed it and the trailer it sat on away.


Panu put out an APB on Facebook about her tiny house being stolen and eventually, two different people reported seeing it about 100 miles away from St. Louis. She told the police and they hauled it back to the parking lot where Panu had built it.

Now that the tiny house is back where it belongs, the question is, how to protect a tiny house built upon trailer wheels from being stolen? Here are some tips:

  1. Get a hitch lock.
  2. Block the wheels of the trailer base.
    1. Lock at least one of the wheels with a wheel lock.
    2. Pile bricks in front of the wheels.
    3. Remove the trailer wheels and put the house on blocks.
  3. Chain the trailer to a tree or permanent structure.
    1. The more difficult the house is to steal, the less likely the thief will bother.
  4. Buy a GPS and hide it inside the house so you can find it if it goes missing.
  5. Make the hitch inaccessible.
    1. Hitch it against a wall, fence, tree.
    2. Maneuver the house into a spot where it’s impossible to fit a tow vehicle.
  6. Install a home security system
    1. Security lights
    2. Camera
    3. Alarm systems on the door.

The more the tiny house movement grows as its offering a solution to affordable housing and increasing density, the more this problem of house theft will grow. Whether your tiny house provides your client/you full or part-time living, it’s best to know how to protect it from being stolen.

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