What Should I do if I’ve Been Burglarized?
One of the last things that anyone wants to go through is to return home and realize they have fallen victim to a burglar. It is devastating. It can be even worse if the act happens when you are home. If you were the victim of a burglary, would you know how to respond? How you react upon the initial discovery and following weeks can make a huge difference.
As soon as you realize what has happened, you will likely experience a strong mixture of negative emotions such as fear, anger, and anxiety, and a hard spike of adrenaline. Your body WILL react to this acute degree of stress. As a response, your heart rate and blood pressure will elevate, and you will likely begin rapidly breathing. In short, you will begin to panic, and panic isn’t helpful in a moment like this. If possible, find a safe and quiet place to sit outside of your home. Relax your body and take a series of deep, slow breaths. Do not re-enter your home unless you are certain the burglar is no longer present.
Call the Police
Now that you have calmed down, you need to notify the authorities. The sooner you let the police know what happened, the sooner they will be on their way, and the better your chances will be to regain your stolen items. As time lapses, the burglar/s will be harder to catch, so getting the authorities on their trail immediately is essential. Follow any instructions you are given by the dispatcher or officer they connect you with.
Take Good Notes
If you were at home when the burglary occurred, or arrived while the burglars were still there, write down what you saw. Any descriptions can help. How tall they were, what their hair looked like, gender, age, race, and what they were wearing are all important physical descriptors. If you didn’t catch anyone in the act but maybe noticed some suspicious individuals around your neighborhood recently, that information can assist as well.
Do your best not to touch anything in your home. Officers will want to see the crime scene as undisturbed as possible. Altering anything may impede their investigation.
You should begin giving your home a thorough examination for any damages and stolen items. Take notes and pictures. Were any windows broken, or doors kicked in? Write it down and take a picture. What is missing? Write down a physical description of the missing item/s, what room the item was located in, and where in the room it was. If you have pictures of the missing objects, serial numbers for missing electronics, or any security camera footage of the burglars, provide it to the officers. Any missing debit or credit cards should be canceled immediately. If you believe any personal identification has been taken, request that your accounts are frozen while you work to resolve the situation.
File an Insurance Claim
With a police report in hand, notify your insurance company. You will need to provide them with the report number, and several other pieces of information that are documented on the police report. Gather any receipts that are pertinent and have those handy, too. Your insurance company may send an adjuster to your home to assess the situation personally. If that happens, have copies of all of your paperwork ready. The insurance adjuster will probably take your evidence with him or her, but you should have a set of the information with you for your own records, too.
Reclaim Your Sense of Security
One thing you are guaranteed to lose in any home invasion is your sense of security and safety in your home. It may be the most precious thing you lose. The good news is that you can get it back. A stronger door, lock, or window can encourage a criminal to find a different target. If you haven’t invested in a home security system yet, now is the best time to do it. Burglars often target the same home more than once if they managed to get away cleanly the first time. A security system is the best tool for preventing, detecting, and catching a home invader. Security can make your home feel safe and secure again as well as prevent a repeat burglary. If you know how the intruder entered your home, take steps to reinforce security in that location.
On a final note, it’s always best to be proactive with the security of your home. Far too many families wait until after they are the victim of a home invasion before taking the right steps to guard their home from intruders. Contact us today and schedule a free home security consultation! Get the protection your home deserves!