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I read in a guide that they exist, but I'd like to know where to find them/what type of containers I'm looking for.

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As far as type, the ones I have found are barrels and they say Thieves' Guild Cache instead of barrel when looking at them. –  MaskedPlant Dec 22 '11 at 14:09
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Thieves caches are located all over Skyrim. The Riften cache is located in the garden of the house you can buy there. In the back of the garden you should find there are some barrels, one of which is the Thief Cache appropriately named "Thief Cache" :)

The house is located at number 7 (top-left) on the map below if you don't know where it is.

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Also keep a look out for this "shadow-mark", it's means there is a thieves cache somewhere nearby.

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You can learn more about the Thieves Guild shadow-marks here.

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I just checked this out, and I was able to access and open the cache without owning the house at all. –  victoriah Dec 22 '11 at 16:06
    
@victoriah Even better, I'll amend the answer :) –  Peter Dec 22 '11 at 20:59
    
There is also a thieves' cache on the lower walkway in a barrel on the way to the rat way –  user24788 May 1 '12 at 19:00
    
There's another thief cache on the bridge of the guards' barracks. If you go in the side door of Mistvill Keep then go out the door on the top floor there will be three barrels, the one at the back is the thief cache. –  user51667 Jul 11 '13 at 9:14
    
if you go to Whiterun and go behind the potions store there should be two barrels behind, one of them is a chest –  user51667 Jul 11 '13 at 9:18
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