It can be an emotionally fraught time if you come home and find that you have been burgled. You have the stress and pain of someone stealing your possessions that cost a lot of money or at the very least have deep sentimental value. Further to that though, there is the anxiety and stress of knowing a stranger has been in your home and rummaging through your stuff. Some people can feel as if the whole world has been pulled up from under their feet and they can find it all too overwhelming to cope with. Although we hope it never happens to you, it is in your best interest to know exactly what you should do if you do find yourself the victim of a home burglary. In the following post, we are going to take you through the most important steps you should take toward recovery after a robbery, that may help to increase the chances of your stuff being found and the thief is apprehended. Even if it doesn’t though, some steps will help you to improve the security of your home to prevent it from happening again. (We recommend anyone reading this to pay close attention to that section, even if you haven’t suffered a break-in recently).
Contact The Police
Although this is perhaps the most obvious step, it is still worth highlighting. Call the local authorities as soon as you realize your home has been broken into to report the robbery. If you think there may still be intruders in your home, leave quickly, call the police from your car or head straight to a neighbor’s home and do it from there. There is nothing you have on your property that is worth getting injured for or even worse, dying over. You also need to avoid touching anything in your home or around it, until the police say it is okay because they will want to dust the area for fingerprints.
Contact Your Insurer/Insurance Agent
Once you have the police at your home and things are a bit more settled, you then need to contact your insurance company or the agent assigned to your insurance policy. Before you phone though, make a detailed and thorough list of all items that have been stolen, along with details of any items on the interior or exterior that you think were damaged during the burglary.
Although you are unlikely to have a full copy of the police report at this point, anything you do have could help. This includes the law enforcement agency, police report number, the date the report was filed and even the name of the police officer who recorded the report.
It is worth remembering though, that if you don’t know everything yet that has been stolen, there will be chances further down the line to update your claim.
Further Ways You Can Try To Get Your Stuff Back
While you should let the police do their job, there are things you can do. There is a chance the police may have missed something, so you should keep your eyes peeled for anything strange that could help them find whole broke into your home. If you had any digital items stolen, you could check if accounts have been accessed.
Another suggestion that the police officers involved in your case might suggest is checking local yard sales, thrift stores, and pawn shops because often when things are stolen from a property, they turn up at these kinds of locations. This is because they are trying to sell them on quickly to make money.
Use Social Media
Social Media can also be used to alert people to your list and their friends to be on the lookout for items that are stolen. Share pictures and give as many details as possible – particularly if there are aspects that will easily identify your missing items.
Prepare For The Possibility Of Thieves Returning
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for homes that have been burgled recently to be broken into to experience robbery again. This may not be what you want to here when your nerves are already shot and you lack trust and feel unsafe; however, it is important that you know this. Often thieves will wait until you have claimed on your insurance and bought replacement items with the money, then break in and steal your stuff again. This is even more likely if they realize you have a poorly protected home.
Install An Effective And Reliable Security System
Obviously, there are a wide variety of different security and alarm systems available these days, that offer you the chance to either monitor your home professionally or manually. The major difference between the two is that if you manually monitor your home when the alarm sounds – it is your responsibility to follow through and call out the police as soon as possible. However, if it is a system that is professionally monitored, it will be the company who operates and checks the alarm system that will contact the police. They will check first with you that everything is okay and if it isn’t they will get the police out. This is by far the most effective means of protection against robbery for your home, it’s important to shop around and find a system that is best suited to your lifestyle, budget, and home.
Consider Investing In A Safe
Even if the police are heading to your property, it could take a professional thief as little as 10 minutes to find any cash and jewelry you have stashed away in your undies or socks drawer. One way to prevent this from happening is by investing in a sturdy and high quality safe to store any valuables inside. A lockable safe is ideal for hiding away family heirlooms and those items you don’t necessarily use all the time but are incredibly expensive and/or hard to replace.
Make A Home Inventory
One of the most sensible things you can do, even if you have never been burgled, is write up a home inventory. This will help you to recover anything stolen if a robbery scenario ever occurs again. Your inventory does not need to be particularly complex, just list all of the items you own from room to room in your home. It can just be a list of all the valuable items or it could be valuables, clothes – just anything. When it comes to speaking with your insurance company about things that have been taken, you will have a handy checklist to mark off the things stolen and tell them.
Change Your Locks
If the thieves got in through the front door, back door or even locked windows, it may be a good idea to change those locks or invest in better, more sophisticated locking systems. Even if you are reading this and haven’t experienced a break-in, it may still be a good idea to have your locks assessed to see if they should be upgraded or replaced.
Experiencing a robbery can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to you. Especially as it can really ruin your trust in people and make you feel unsafe and anxious in your own home. Knowing strangers have been rooting through your things, taking things that you worked hard for or received as gifts can leave you feeling sick, as well as missing your stuff.
However, as you can see, all is not lost. By following the steps above, you could recover your possessions and the burglar could be arrested. Even if there is not as positive a result as that, you will at least know how you can better prepare yourself for it happening again.