These posts telling ordinary citizens to be more cautious and afraid have a real effect on the 99.5% of us that are not victims of crime every year. The only person that is to blame for a home invasion, a mid-gas-pumping car theft, or an abduction of a child walking alone, is the criminal and not the homeowner, driver or parent; no matter if we leave our doors open, or allow our children to walk alone to the park.
It’s great that not enough real crime is happening so we have to manufacture fear with the theoretical. Please please just focus on catching criminals, rather than telling us all to be scared and suspicious of our neighbors.
Following is the email sent MPD 4D listserv, links removed go to Ackerman Security:
“We’ve Been Robbed!”: 6-Point Checklist of What to Do After a Home Break-In
It’s an unsettling experience.
Many homeowners feel so violated after a home break-in that they either panic or just don’t know what to do.
It’s not surprising. After all, your seemingly safe sanctuary has been invaded, and your sense of security has been crushed.
However, you need to be level-headed in this crucial moment.
By mentally preparing yourself ahead of time, you can act quickly, increasing your chances of catching the burglars and getting your stuff back.
Here’s a 6-point checklist of things you should do after a home break-in.
1) Call the police
Contacting the authorities is priority number one. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to catch the burglars and/or get your stolen items back.
If you have security monitoring with Ackerman Security, we take care of this for you. Once we get a signal that your home was broken into, we contact the police and give them your location.
2) Write down everything ASAP
Were you home when the burglar entered? Did you see them? Write down everything you can recall about them as soon as possible because you may forget. This will assist the police in finding the culprit(s).
Details you should write down include:
· How many intruders there were
· Clothes they wore
· How they entered (and what property they damaged to enter)
· Where they went
It’s even better If you have a security camera. Then you don’t have to recall anything—the security camera does it for you and in more detail. Let the police know if you have a security camera and make sure they see the footage.
Learn more: Top 3 places to install security cameras to catch burglars.
3) Take pictures—but don’t disturb anything
It’s important you don’t disturb the crime scene until the police arrive. You need to show them the conditions of your home as close as possible to how you found your home after the crime.
With that in mind, take pictures of the crime scene without disturbing anything, including areas where items were stolen and entrances burglars used to get into your home. You’ll need this for insurance purposes to prove certain items were stolen and that certain areas of the home were damaged.
It also helps it you have pictures or receipts of the items before they were stolen.
4) File a report
When the police arrive they should give you your filing options, including going down to the police station and filing a report or filing the report online.
5) File an insurance claim
Once you have your police report, immediately contact your home/renter insurance company.
It’s important to file the police report first because your insurance company will need the report number and a lot of information that’s in the report, including the point of entry, property damaged, items stolen, etc.
Later, an adjuster may come out. All your work before will pay off now, because you’ll need to explain your situation, provide receipts and/or pictures of items stolen and property damaged.
6) Identify your security weak points and strengthen them
Now that you’ve done all you can to get your items back, it’s time to repair and strengthen your home so this never happens again.
So, here’s the good news if you’re reading this and your home has not been broken into: You can strengthen your home now and save yourself the trouble of steps 1-5.
Here are 3 articles showing how to strengthen home entryways that burglars usually use to break into a home:
· Warning: Your Windows Are a Security Weak Link—Here’s the Solution
· Why You Need to Kickproof Your Doors…Even if You Have an Alarm System
· Top 3 Places to Install Security Cameras to Catch Burglars
Want to beef up your home’s security?
Talk to one of our security consultants for help. They’ll find your home’s security weak points and find the right solution to strengthen your home against attackers.
Lieutenant Michelle Ridlehoover
Metropolitan Police Department
Fourth District PSA 405
6001 Georgia Avenue NW