Important Steps to Take After A Burglary
A burglary can be an extremely traumatic experience. I recently had a new bike stolen from off my back porch and I’ve been unable to ride a bike for a few weeks now! Many emotions arise after losing the things you love. If you are in need, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. I covered 3 Ways To Recover From A Burglary in a previous blog post, which I hope aids in your mental recovery. Though, in the aftermath of a burglary, as traumatizing as it can be, physical action is necessary. Here are a few steps to take after returning home and seeing the tell-tale signs of a break-in.
Escape the Crime Scene
You may think it’s smart to begin cleaning any broken glass or to start cataloging what was stolen, but it’s important to remember that your safety comes first and you should leave the scene to immediately call the police. This could be to a friend’s house, the local coffee shop, or even back to your car as the intruder could still be inside. Anyone breaking into your home can potentially be combative and dangerous. It’s best to wait until the police arrive and give the all-clear before entering your home.
File An Official Report of Burglary
Once the police arrive, they will ask questions about former occupants, present roommates, and information about who has had access to your home. With 95% of all home invasions requiring some sort of forceful entry, it’s important to take pictures and have detailed documents. Tell the police any information you know and give them any camera footage you may have.
You will then receive an official case number that is needed for the following steps you should perform within 48 hours of the break-in.
Contact your Insurance Company
Your policy could cover damage from broken windows and doors so contact your insurance provider before repairing any structural damage. If you rent, you should contact your landlord for which steps should be taken. Once you’re in contact with the insurance company, they most likely will ask for the official case number you received from the police. This lets them know that someone is looking for your stolen property and will better assist in your insurance claim. Be sure to follow all the instructions, which may include sending in photos or any other evidence you have collected.
Contact your Bank and Credit Agencies
If you feel the thief may have come into contact with your bank account information or have stolen your wallet with credit and debit cards, it’s a good idea to contact your bank and any credit reporting agencies as your identity could be compromised. Have a close look at your bank account and be sure to dispute any unauthorized charges. Asking for a security alert from your credit reporting agency will mark you as a victim of theft, preventing anyone from opening any loans or committing any other nefarious deeds that may affect your credit.
Protect Your Home From Future Break-ins
The best way to deal with a burglary is to have deterrents in place so it never happens. Take the necessary steps to ensure your home is too much of a hassle to break into. Locking your doors using the deadbolt, knowing who's been in and out of your home, and installing a home security system are simple fixes to can save you from an unnecessary recovery.
Studies have shown that homes without monitored security systems are three times more likely to be targeted by burglars, so consider installing an alarm system like Scout Alarm to reduce the risk of burglary.
Getting over a burglary can be a traumatic experience. There is no set recovery time so give yourself the needed space to grow and learn. Don't be afraid to reach out for help from your support system. They can provide an extra security blanket until you are back on your feet.
Taking these important steps after a burglary can be difficult but they are necessary to help you return to your normal routine as quickly as possible.