Oft times in my studies, I find it beneficial to realize the truth that the nature of mankind has been relatively constant through the ages, especially when it comes to security, financial and otherwise.
Perhaps a key motive for Rachel's theft was more mercenary than spiritual. Take note of the following First Testament passages, noting especially the physical nature of the 'gods':
The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. —Deuteronomy 7:25 (KJV)
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. —1 King 12:28 (KJV)
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. —Daniel 5:4 (KJV)
Essentially, there were no "banks", nor coins. Payment was made by weight of silver or gold.
And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. —Genesis 23:16 (KJV)
Thus, when one became wealthy, and desired to safeguard these irregular chunks of metal from thieves even of their own household, it was expedient to take them to the metal caster and have them molded into an homogeneous mass, which could easily be identified. Thus these "god" often represented the results of a lifetime of labor to the owner.
There are, of course, many references to these molten images throughout the Word.
Specifically, in the Deuteronomy reference above, it is apparent that the precious metals on these idols would become a snare: the images themselves were burnt into ashes, so that was not the "snare". Their precious metals were the snare, as the Word says.
The precious metals were the money of that day. Now, in Laban's case, He was both greedy and dishonest, as can be seen from his treatment of Jacob. His household gods most probably contained the majority of his old age pension, as well as the inheritance to be passed to his sons.
Although it was customary to provide his daughters with a dowry, he did not do so. Rachel perhaps took it upon herself to steal the dowry which she thought rightfully hers.
Jacob recognized that the thief was worthy of death. Not because the 'gods' were in any way special except for their monetary value.
It is so today with ones life savings, is it not? Too often money is more highly thought of than any mere works. People will do all they can to preserve their wealth, since it is often the most precious thing in their lives. Yes, many worship money as their god. It is as the Word says: the love of money is the root of all evil.
Likewise, The more things change, the more they are the same.