13 Things to Do If Your Home Gets Broken Into

Know the steps to take following a break-in, so you can start moving forward as soon as possible.

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Police siren lights
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Call the police

You’ll want to report the incident to the police to establish a record and also get information for filing an insurance claim.

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DSLR camera
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Take pictures

Photos will provide additional evidence of what your home looked like following the burglary or robbery. Police photos might be incomplete or the insurance company might need additional photos.

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Home break-in
Photo: Rainer Fuhrmann/Shutterstock

Don’t touch anything

There is the potential that you could destroy any evidence in your home before the police arrive.

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Scared dog with head through doggie door
Photo: Dmussman/Shutterstock

Locate pets

If a door remained opened after a burglary, it’s possible you might need to locate your pets if they aren’t in the home.

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Home insurance claim form
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Call insurance company

Call your insurance company quickly so they can help guide you through documenting damage, making a list of missing items, and making claims.

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Young married couple reading documents together
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Document everything

Keep a complete list of what was taken and its approximate value. You might even want to draw pictures or let the police know of specific identification marks. Keep an extra copy of the list for insurance purposes.

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Broken orange plate
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Don’t throw out broken property

You might be tempted to throw out damaged property out of frustration, but those items need to be documented for any possible claims.

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Home insurance document
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Locate proof of ownership documents

It’s a good idea to keep documents related to big purchases, because it can make providing proof of ownership to insurance companies easier.

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Home security system
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Secure your home

It might be time to take a look at security weak points in your home and take steps to strengthen security. It could mean adding security cameras, additional lighting or tougher locks to a home.

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Bank exterior
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Call your bank

It’s good to call your bank even if you don’t know if any financial records were taken. You may not see the effect of stolen bank documents right away, but you can avoid any potential losses by changing accounts, pins, and other financial information.

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Neighbours talking
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Let the neighbours know

Burglars like to strike in the same area multiple times because they’ve usually cased a neighbourhood for some time before striking. So be a good neighbour and let your neighbours know about a burglary.

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Police officers on porch of home
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Follow up with police

You’ll want to find the burglar immediately, but crimes don’t usually get solved overnight. Be sure to follow up with police periodically to keep abreast of the investigation.

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African-American couple sleeping in bed together
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Talk to someone

A burglary will summon feelings of being unsafe, and that can have a lasting effect. If you’re experiencing residual effects from the burglary, be sure to speak with a professional who can help with anxiety issues.

Next, check out the 18 things pickpockets don’t want you to know.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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