After a burglary, you feel angry, helpless and violated, which is normal. The thought of being burgled again makes people anxious. When stolen items are replaced, thieves could be tempted to return especially if the items are valuable.
You have to take quick action after being the victim of a burglary. Nobody wants to have to go through the experience of a burglary more than once. Acting quickly can prevent that from happening. Here are our seven tips to consider after a burglary:
Call the Police
Yes, it is one of the first things that you should do, but if you do not stay calm doing it could be delayed and this causes problems and delays. If you notice signs that your home has been burgled, call your local police station or 000 immediately. Any break in your routine means you could disturb the intruder, if you hear anything or feel uneasy do not enter the house. Never confront an intruder. If you are sure that it is all clear and you feel safe entering the house, don’t touch or move anything. The need to clean up the mess left behind (if there is any) can be overwhelming, but you will destroy evidence if you do. Contact your local police to lodge a victim’s report, your insurance company will need the report number to process your claim. For more information on the victims report and procedure you can call or visit your suburb’s local police and they will guide you.
Make your home secure
Thieves will find an access point that is relatively easy to get in and out. Broken doors or windows generally indicate where the intruder came in. Damaged or broken doors and windows have to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Call your locksmith to replace all your locks if you suspect a key was used.
Check what is missing.
Go through your house carefully, make note of everything that is missing. It seems frivolous but check your mail. Thieves can use your credit card statements and other bills to open accounts in your name or steal your identity. Check your spare keys, for your house and your car. If any of the keys are missing, call your locksmith as quickly as possible. Smart devices often have find me apps which are linked. The find me app can lead police to your stolen items and the perpetrator. Valuable items go on a list with any other missing items. Report any missing mail and devices to your bank and to your service provider, quickly change your passwords on your accounts.
Submit your insurance claim
Contact your insurer, and go through your policy. Policy schedules have the information about claim entitlement and procedure. Before you leave out low value items from your claim, have a look, there may be conditions in your policy that allows you to claim for these items. Keeping a file with your receipts, serial numbers and estimated values will speed up the process if your insurer needs proof of ownership. Another good habit is keeping copies of your passport and credit card numbers to help fast track replacements.
Your insurer could ask for more proof, especially for high value items, it helps if you take and file photographs of any new purchases in your home. Items like, jewellery and sentimental items need to be listed separately on the policy schedule, discuss this with your insurer.
Audit your home security
Take a walk around your home. If there are any points that you see as weaknesses, like a tree that is near a wall or fence, or a balcony that has unsecured doors or windows; addressing any weak points is urgent.
Make it as difficult as possible for thieves to get into your home, the harder it is the less likely they are to try.
Speak to someone
After being burgled, it is normal to feel traumatised and even scared. There do not have to be any injuries, serious or otherwise to cause turmoil. The fact that a stranger came into your home, violated your privacy and took your belongings is enough to cause stress. Speaking to a close friend or family member might help, but sometimes you need to see a councilor. Every suburb will have trauma councilors, from Burpengary to Woodford.
Take preventative measures
The more people in your neighbourhood are extra vigilant, the less likely criminals are to wander into your area. Being cautious and alert is the best way to prevent future intrusions. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- A safe or a hard to find place is the best way to secure valuable items.
- Car keys should not be near a door or window, you do not want to had the intruder a fast escape.
- Review your home security frequently to make sure there are no easy access points.
- Get a professionally installed and monitored alarm or camera system.
- The neighbourhood has to stand together and take care of each other.
- Keep windows and doors secured at all times.
- Don’t leave boxes on the street, this indicates the purchase of a new item and can tempt intruders.