So You've Been Robbed ... Now What?
Getting robbed is scary, not to mention costly. Here are some ways that you can back on your feet—and maybe even get some of your stuff back.
A day at the amusement park. Playing catch with your dog. Participating in a pancake eating contest.
These are just a few activities on the long, long list of things that are considered “fun.” You know what doesn’t show up on that list, not even once? Getting robbed. It’s a scary possibility that most people would rather not think about.
Unfortunately, it’s a possibility that can happen, so it’s worth taking some time to think about what to do if it happens to you and how you can prevent it in the future.
The scary scenario.
One of the scariest robbery scenarios, the sort that keeps many people up at night, is an armed and dangerous burglar breaking into your home while you’re there.
Thankfully, this robbery scenario is the least likely to occur. Most burglars break in during the day when they think the resident will be out because they’re more interested in stealing high-value items, like jewelry and laptops, than they are getting into a potentially dangerous confrontation with a witness.
Only a little over seven percent of burglaries result in injury, so hopefully that will lessen your fears of that scenario, if you have them.
The scene of the crime.
However the robbery occurs, your next steps should be pretty similar. Obviously in the unlikely event that there were any injuries, those should be dealt with immediately. Regardless, it’s important not to panic.
“If you or a loved one ever fall victim to a burglary, it is important to remain calm,” advised Chandler Clayton, Security Expert with ASecureLife. “Call the local authorities and provide them with every single detail that you can regarding the event. The more details you can provide, the better your chances of regaining your belongings.”
Taking matters into your own hands.
While the police may do their best to recover your stolen items, the odds of that happening are not very likely. Only around 30 percent of stolen items are recovered, and that number is only as high as it is because the recovery rate for locally stolen vehicles is around 60 percent. That’s why you should consider taking the search for your stolen items into your own hands.
No, we don’t mean you should treat this burglary as your superhero origin story and skulk around at night as “The Bandit Basher,” a vigilante who robs the robbers… of their lives!
What we actually mean is that you can try and find your stolen items on your own. Don’t put yourself into any dangerous situations, but by searching your local Craigslist listings and checking pawn shops nearby, you may be able to track down something that was taken.
While this may not be worth the effort for some items, especially if you’re dealing with a pawn shop that refuses to believe the item belongs to you, it could make all the difference if something with sentimental value was taken.
Secure your stuff.
While there may not be too many things you can do after a robbery occurs, there are steps you can take beforehand to protect your things.
Having a security system can make a significant difference. Although the police may not catch someone while they’re breaking in, the presence of an alarm can send a burglar scurrying as soon as it activates.
Most homeowners insurance will also cover theft, so for a relatively small investment, you can get thousands of dollars of coverage. After a break in, you can file a claim and receive reimbursement for the stolen objects. Just be aware that your insurance might require you to show proof you filed a police report. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process for filing a claim with your specific insurer so you’re prepared for any eventuality.
It’s generally not the greatest idea to broadcast when you’ll be out of the house across your social media presence. You also need to be aware of more high tech theft possibilities.
“Times are changing, and so is crime,” warned Clayton. “In 2017, over $1.4 billion was reported stolen through cybercrimes. Be alert on the streets, but also remember to secure your online presence.”
Be sure to never give anyone your financial information unless you’re totally certain who you’re speaking too. And familiarize yourself with the red flags that may indicate someone is trying to scam you financially.
Take care of your money—and yourself.
Worrying about theft can be a common source of stress. That’s why it’s worth considering all the various steps you can take to secure your things and, more importantly, secure yourself some piece of mind. Once you’ve secured your property, consider helping others in your life do the same. We’ve recently written an article on elder financial abuse, which is its own unique sort of theft.
Stay safe, friend! And while you’re at it, consider grabbing a loved one and making a budget together. Because isn’t wasting money sort of like having a tiny burglar in your pocket?
Chandler Clayton is a security expert with ASecureLife (@ASecureLife). Honing his skills from the University of Wisconsin, he writes to inform the public on the latest trends and innovations in the security market. He draws his experience from his constant life efforts to learn and adapt in the modern era.
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