10 Important Steps to Take After a Burglary
One of the worst experiences is the violation of a home burglary. If your house has been broken into, it can be an overwhelming feeling. We wanted to provide a clear step-by-step guide for what to do if this happens to you.
Before you do anything, it’s important not to enter the home. For your own safety and in order not to disturb the crime scene, stay outside or go to a neighbor’s house. From there you can call the police. Before they arrive, it’s important not to touch anything.
Here are the 10 most important things to do after a break-in or theft:
- File a police report
- List the items that have been stolen or damaged
- Talk to the neighbors
- Check for surveillance footage
- Gather video and pictures
- Notify your bank
- Make an insurance claim
- Secure the property
- Change the locks and increase security measures
- Seek support
File a police report
Before doing anything else, call the police. Avoid going into the house or touching broken glass or moving items that may be used as evidence in the meantime. The police will inspect the property for signs of forced entry, speak with neighbors and other possible witnesses and check the house for fingerprints. The police report serves as a written record that a crime has occurred. Once you have filed a report of the burglary, request a copy of it. The police report will be helpful when making an insurance claim.
List the items that have been stolen or damaged
Go through the house, room by room, and make a list of all the things that are missing. Be thorough and carefully look over each shelf and through any jewelry boxes or safes that are in the home. Include serial numbers and an approximation of their value. Don’t forget to check for items missing from the garage and missing keys.
Talk to the neighbors
Let others who live in the area know that there has been a burglary in your neighborhood. Ask if they saw anyone around your home at the time of the break-in. You should also ask if they are aware of any similar incidents or have seen any suspicious activity recently. Make note of any helpful information that they give you. Be sure to turn this over to police investigating the burglary along with your neighbor’s contact information.
Check for surveillance footage
If you or your neighbors have security cameras around the home and the area, gather the video footage from that day. Share any video that you are able to collect with the investigating police. Surveillance video that captures some part of the crime may also be helpful for your insurance claim.
Gather video and pictures
Take pictures and make a video as you walk through the burglarized house. These can be used to document the crime scene. Videos and pictures also function as evidence of property damage and missing valuables.
Notify your bank
If your home was burglarized, you should inform your bank as soon as possible. Even if your credit cards or checkbook were not among the stolen items, the burglar likely had access to bank statements and other financial documents. You will want the bank to look out for any unusual activity, or close the account entirely, and request new cards.
Make an insurance claim
Look over your homeowners insurance policy to see what items are covered and how soon the claim must be submitted after the break-in. You might be surprised to find out that some of your stolen belongings, even some relatively inexpensive items, may be included in your insurance policy. Collect any evidence of ownership for these things; this could include receipts and photographs of the home prior to the burglary. Once you have gathered the necessary information, contact your insurance company.
Secure the property
Following a burglary, homeowners feel unsafe on their property, and they are. There are usually broken windows, damaged doors or forced locks. It’s important to secure the home again for the safety of everyone living there and the remaining belongings. Professional repair companies usually provide emergency services and can help you clean up and secure windows, doors and other access points at least temporarily.
Change the locks and increase security measures
You should contact a professional locksmith to have the locks changed as soon as possible. A trustworthy locksmith should offer onsite assistance even outside of office hours. A home break-in is a strong message that it’s time to increase security around your property. Request a consultation with a locksmith and a residential security system provider for advice on how to address the weak points of the house and prevent burglary
A home break-in can be financially and emotionally devastating. It’s normal to feel afraid, unsafe and upset. Take time to care for yourself and get in touch with your support network to help recover from the trauma of being burglarized.
Call a Locksmith for Assistance
Trust your local expert locksmiths at Green Valley Lockshop to make sure your home is secure. We can select and install the best residential security solutions. Contact GV Lock at (610) 644-5334 or request a free quote online.