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How to Respond to a Home Break-in

People in the US still suffer from burglaries, robberies & home break-in’s every day; All of which can be terrifying experiences and make people wonder how safe they really are. The good thing is, with all the technology available today you can be prepared by protecting your home with a security system to prevent a home break-in. The FBI reports that homes without a security system are 3x more likely to be burglarized. They also show that 83% of potential burglars will check to see if there is an alarm before attempting to break-in to your home, 60% would seek an alternative target (Blevins et al. 33). This is important information to know, especially when studies have shown that 51% of homes were victims of a repeat burglary within one month of the initial offense (Robinson 78). This is because the burglar has learned the layout of your home and where you keep your valuables. Which means if you are a victim of a home break-in, you should really consider purchasing a new security system. However, this blog is going to provide tips as to what steps you should take immediately after a home burglary.

If you ever happen to find yourself in a situation where it seems that someone may have broken into your home while you were out, it’s probably best if you avoid going inside. Believe it or not, the best thing you can do is get away from the area and call the police for help. A good idea is to go back into your car, lock the doors, and maybe even drive farther away from the property. If you know a neighbor nearby, it might be in your best interest to go to their home and stay safe while you call the police. At this time, your focus should be avoiding direct contact with the burglars.

Now, if you happen to be inside of your home and you hear someone trying to get inside, or perhaps someone already inside. You should lock yourself in a room and call the police. If you have access to a weapon, this might be the time to grab it. Just remember the intruder could be a friend, a family member, or possibly emergency services. Because of this, you should just stay put and only use a weapon once you know for sure the person is a threat to you and you are in immediate danger. When the police finally come, they will announce themselves as they move throughout the home, once they get to your door, you can put down the weapon, if you have one, and answer them.

We understand that a situation like this is going to be overwhelming. Your home is meant to be a safe place where you can be at peace, and now the thought of your home can be triggering anxieties. The most productive thing you can do for yourself is to just breathe and do your best to stay calm. It may not seem like it, but everything will be okay eventually. Once the police have arrived, you can feel better about not being in any immediate danger, and hopefully, you have insurance that will help you get your money back. Some items that were stolen may be precious to you, but hopefully, the fact that your loved ones are still safe can bring you comfort. Staying strong in an unpleasant situation can really help you regain control.

Once the police have cleared the crime scene, and your home has in fact been burglarized, they will start collecting evidence. It is best to avoid touching anything, once you know that you are safe, you never know what piece of evidence might help the police find the thieves. The police are probably going to ask you a ton of questions during this time period, they just want to make sure they get every detail they can. One thing that might be helpful in making an itemized list about what items you think are missing and taking pictures of the damages.

A burglar is going to want to steal items that are valuable and easy to carry. This means you should look for items such as electronics, jewelry, guns, or anything portable that could have a high monetary value. Since burglaries are quite hard to solve, the more information you provide to the police, the better the chances are of getting back your stolen goods. You may also find it in your best interest to check with local pawn shops, to see if they have received any of your stolen goods. Sometimes burglars have drug addictions and they need cash quick, so they will take the risk of selling stolen goods to pawn shops.

House interior safe from a home break-in

Once the police have gathered all the evidence they need, they will eventually leave your home. Whether you decide to stay with a friend, or if the police tell you it should be safe to stay at your home, you will need to address any damages that took place during the burglary relatively quickly. Burglars might have broken a window, used a crowbar on your door, or maybe had access with a key. At this point, you need to fix these vulnerabilities as soon as possible and make sure your house has no obvious weak points.

After you have secured your home, you are going to want to contact your insurance agency and file a claim. It is important to file a claim quickly after a break-in because some agencies might put a limit on the amount of time you can wait after an incident to file. Once you have documented most or all your damaged and missing items, you should feel confident and ready to contact your insurance agency immediately.

Remember, the list you create for your insurance agent doesn’t have to be complete when you first file, but you should provide them with a detailed and itemized list of all damaged or missing belongings you know of. As the claim process moves forward, you will be given opportunities to update the list if you find out about missing items later on. The more information you can provide your insurance agency the faster the process can be completed. Some helpful information includes estimates of missing items, receipts, photos, or any other paperwork that can verify ownership of missing or broken items.

One common misconception is that you need to wait for the police to finish their report to file a claim. This is not true, you just need to provide the insurance company with helpful details such as the police report number, the date it was taken, the officer who took the report, and the name of the law enforcement agency. Depending on how extensive your losses were, you might be able to manage your claims online or by phone with less of a hassle. However, if the burglars took many belongings or dealt with extensive damage to your property the insurance agency may send a claims adjuster to come and investigate.

Once you have repaired your home and dealt with any pronounced vulnerabilities, you should consider upgrading your home security system to prevent future burglaries from occurring. A study, which was published by the British Journal of Criminology, showed that 51% of homes were victims of a repeat burglary within one month of the initial offense (Robinson 78). Repeat burglary is a real issue, burglars like to target places they are familiar with. This is especially true if they know you will replace the stolen goods quickly after the initial burglary and they can be certain of the times you will not be home.

Burglars are often deterred by the presence of a security system. Houses without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into, according to the FBI. A study by UNC Charlotte called, “Understanding Decisions To Burglarize From The Offender’s Perspective” Showed some important information about home security. Their study found that about 60% of burglars indicated the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target. This same study also showed that 83% of offenders would attempt to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary. The study also listed alarms, outdoor cameras, and other forms of surveillance as the most effective deterrents; according to the offenders (Blevins et al. 33).

Central Jersey Security Cameras is a New Jersey-based company that specializes in business and home security installation. Our team consists of expert system designers, experienced field technicians, and qualified office personnel who are available to help you with all your security needs. We pride ourselves in learning and installing the most advanced and effective security measures for businesses and residences. We do this by constantly testing new technology to make sure that you can get the best equipment possible for the most reasonable prices. Our distinct industry focus helps our customers by providing them with an easy to use system that inspires confidence and control in one’s own security.

Some of our most popular products include HD and IP Cameras. Both cameras can be viewed and reviewed remotely via smartphone or computer allowing you the ability to view your home from almost anywhere. The cameras also include Line Crossing Detection which can be set up easily from your home. Line Crossing Detection protects your property by giving you notifications and recording any activity that occurs on or near your property. This way if a potential burglar is caught wandering around your home, you will have footage and notification to warn you if you decide to call the authorities. Alarms have been noted as one of the biggest deterrents for burglars. We carry alarms to protect your homes and businesses and our staff constantly undergo extensive training yearly to stay knowledgeable on the newest alarm systems and technology. You can also opt-in for Central Station Monitoring, this means that trained professionals will be monitoring your alarm system 24 hours a day and will be able to contact the police directly in the event of a break-in. Check out all these products and more on our website: https://centraljerseysecuritycameras.com/alarms/

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Works Cited

 

Blevins, Kristie R., Kuhns, Joseph B., Lee, Seungmug “Zech.” “Understanding Decisions To Burglarize From The Offender’s Perspective.” UNC Charlotte, Dec. 2012, p. 1-63.

Robinson, Matthew B. “Burglary Revictimization: The Time Period of Heightened Risk.” British Journal of Criminology, 1998, vol. 38, p. 78-87.

 

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