Breaking and Entering:
What to Do after
Your Home is Robbed
home equity articles and tips
For many homeowners, one of the scariest scenarios is having their house robbed. Not only are possessions stolen, but their sense of security is also taken away by the robbers. Unfortunately, breaking and entering is an all-too-common crime in the United States, with the FBI estimating more than 22 percent of all crimes are burglaries. If you find yourself the victim of breaking and entering, there are several important steps to take to ensure you get the restitution you deserve, and once again secure your home.
Call the Police
The first and most important step is to call the police to report the crime. The quicker police can respond to your home, the better chance you have that the burglar will be apprehended and your possessions returned to you. It's also extremely important to not touch anything in the house, since it is a crime scene that police will want to scour for physical and forensic evidence.
File a Police Report
Not only is it important to contact the police, but it's also vital to file a police report for insurance purposes. According to the professionals at the Keyser Law Firm who specialize in criminal practice, reports are usually done on-scene, and once the report is in your hands you should contact your insurance company to file a claim. Since most people have homeowner's or renter's insurance, most stolen items are usually covered. If possible, it's always good to have an itemized list of the items stolen or a video of the items made specifically for insurance purposes. These can go far in making sure there are no questions as to whether or not you actually owned the item, or what kind of condition it was in at the time it was stolen. Just remember that an official police report is needed if you want to be reimbursed for stolen items.
Update Your Security System
Once your home has been robbed, updating your security system may be a good idea. Crime prevention officers from police departments offer free security assessments for homes that have been burglarized, so taking advantage of these services is a good idea. Locks should be changed, additional outside lighting installed and a home security system with 24/7 monitoring may need to be installed in order to provide security as well as peace of mind.
Many people who find themselves victims of breaking and entering fail to realize just how much the incident can affect them emotionally. A home is supposed to be a sanctuary for a family, and having its security compromised can be a psychological jolt. However, by taking the steps outlined it's quite possible to reclaim not only the possessions that were lost, but also one's sense of security.
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