What To Do After A Home Burglary
Steps On What To Do After A Home Burglary
When someone breaks into your home, the result can be devastating and unsettling. The aftermath can leave you angry, upset, and traumatized, not to mention emotionally drained. Plus, you realize you don’t have the slightest idea on what to do first,second, third, after a burglary and you also worry that this can have a financial impact on you or your family.
The bitter truth is that no one is safe from break-ins. Despite having the most reliable home security system or the best door locks and alarms, you can never be too sure that your home will not be victimized by burglars.
If you do find your home burglarized, know that the steps you take are critical to ensure that the burglars are caught, and, if possible, your possessions are returned to you. Acting quickly is vital, not only to get the thieves to face justice but also to help you and your family regain peace of mind.
Set aside panic and shock and keep in mind the following steps when faced with a home invasion:
1. If you suspect a break-in, refrain from entering your home
Never go inside the house to check when you see a window or door that was broken or if you get a feeling that a burglary happened. This is potentially dangerous since the burglar may still be inside your home.
Find a safe place instead, which could be a neighbor’s house or somewhere far from your home. You can also hide inside your car, but make sure the doors of the vehicle are locked, with the engine running, so you can escape quickly if the burglars also decide to take your car.
2. If you’re inside your home during a break-in, leave immediately
When you are suddenly awakened by a burglary, the best thing to do is escape from your home. Never attempt to face the burglars, as they may harm you when confronted.
If you can’t escape from your home, find an area inside your house that is safe to hide. Never hide in the bathroom of the master bedroom or even in the living area, since burglars almost always check these rooms when they break in.
3. Alert the police
Call the police immediately after a burglary. Getting help from the authorities as early as you can increases the chances of the burglars getting caught.
When calling the authorities, make sure you are not inside your home in case the burglars are still there. Make the call from your neighbor’s house or any place that is safe.
It is important that you call the police to ensure that you and your family can return to your home safely. Moreover, alerting the authorities can prevent other homes in your neighborhood from being robbed.
4. Avoid touching anything
Another crucial step when thinking about what to do after a burglary is not touching or rearranging anything inside your home until the police arrive. The police need to inspect your home after the incident, and touching anything may destroy any evidence that is needed to identify and catch the burglars.
So, avoid cleaning up the mess, wiping or rearranging the furniture, or fixing anything that’s broken. Keep in mind that the police need to see the incident exactly as it was after the burglary to better assess the situation and know what kind of culprits they are dealing with.
5. Write down every little detail about the burglary
The police will investigate the incident, so it is important that you remember every detail about the break-in. Information like the description of the invaders, the clothes they were wearing, the description and license plate numbers of their getaway vehicle, and the direction they went after they fled the scene should be noted down.
You can also share other details like the time when the burglary happened, as well as any suspicious visitors you’ve had in your home. Don’t leave out any information that may help in the investigation, regardless of how unrelated you think it might be.
Keep in mind that filing a police report should be done within 24 hours from the time of the break-in. This is vital, as the police report is needed to ensure that your insurance claims will be processed in a timely manner.
6. Check your home’s surveillance videos
Should you have surveillance cameras installed in your home, the whole incident may have been caught on record. You can review these videos to identify the burglars and the items that were stolen.
You can also use the surveillance footage as evidence against the culprits.
7. Take photos of the crime scene
Taking photographs or videos of the scene of the burglary is a smart move for when you need to present evidence to your insurance company. Photos and videos that document everything that was stolen and broken inside your house can also help the police as they investigate the incident.
8. Make a list of everything that was stolen
Take an inventory of all the items inside your home that were stolen. It helps to be thorough when describing and assessing the value of each item, as this may help the authorities track down or recover what was stolen, if at all possible.
Check places where valuables were kept, such as safes or jewelry drawers. If you don’t remember where some of the items were placed before they were stolen, you can refer or look through old photographs of your home where these items were once located.
Don’t forget to make a copy of this inventory of stolen items, as the insurance company will probably ask you for it as proof of ownership.
9. Alert your bank about the burglary
Burglars may have also stolen your ATM or credit cards and checks, or they may even got a hold of sensitive financial information. It is important to contact your bank or other financial institutions to close any bank accounts that may have been compromised and also to replace the cards you lost.
10. File insurance claims
Armed with the police report and other evidence about the burglary (i.e., inventory of stolen items and photographs and videos of the break-in), you must file your insurance claim as soon as possible. Some insurance companies require that you submit all necessary documentation within 24 hours, so make sure that you have everything ready before filing a claim.
Do note that some insurance companies may send a claims adjuster to assess or evaluate the worth of stolen items. Be cooperative as much as you can to ensure your insurance claims will be processed quickly.
11. Give yourself time to take it all in
Once you’ve cleaned up the mess and filed everything that needs to be filed, allow yourself to break down and feel emotional about the whole incident. It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious or violated after the break-in.
Seek emotional help if you want to. You can take time off from work to process and take in everything. You may feel lost and confused on what to do next after a burglary, but know that you can get emotional support from friends or loved ones to get you through the whole ordeal.
12. Improve your home’s security system
The burglary proves that your home can be easily compromised. This means you have to improve the security setup of your home to prevent future break-ins.
You may want to check all the doors and see if the locks need to be changed. Make sure to call a security installation professional to install tougher door locks.
You can refer to the products and services of experts like Dick’s Lock and Safe, a trusted residential locksmith and commercial locksmith in Orange County. Since 1964, this family-owned business has been providing high-quality locks, electronic access control systems, keyless entry system for homes, and other security solutions for homes and businesses.
Getting the services of a professional locksmith allows you to take advantage of not only advanced security solutions but also of the expertise of licensed technicians who can give you a better assessment of your home’s security condition. They can also provide recommendations on what steps you can take to improve your home’s security.
Tags: What To Do After A Home Burglary, home robbery, home invasion, home burglary