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What Do You Do If Your House Gets Broken Into?

February 10, 2020

Security camera and private house on the backgroundCriminals are looking for easy opportunities. Visible security cameras are the best deterrent to home theft, though loud dogs, good lighting, trimmed trees, and signs – such as a blaring TV — that someone is home are also effective at keeping burglars away.

Experiencing a break-in can be nerve-wracking and stressful. But with the right steps, you can move forward and make your home a less vulnerable target. Maryland Security Professionals can help keep your premises safe with a high-quality surveillance system for the home. No matter what your security needs, we can create a custom solution that will work within your budget.

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If you discover your home has been broken into, take the following steps.

Get to safety and call 911

Your first instinct may be to comb the house for stolen items and property damage, but you need to think about personal safety first. If you come home and find evidence of a possible break-in, leave right away and call 911 to report the incident. It doesn’t matter if you’re unsure whether a burglary has taken place, you don’t want to risk confrontation with an intruder.

File a police report

Once law enforcement has arrived, make sure to file a police report that your home was broken into. This may help advance a claim with your homeowner’s insurance.

Don’t contaminate the scene

Some thieves use gloves when burglarizing a home, but not all. Until you have been told otherwise, resist the urge to touch anything. If you see something out of place or missing, you can alert the officer, but don’t risk contaminating the scene with your own fingerprints.

Take stock of missing or damaged items

Jewelry, electronics, cash, expensive pharmaceuticals, and firearms are some of the most commonly stolen items in residential break-ins. Go through the house and make a detailed list of what was stolen or damaged, and the approximate value. If you have receipts to prove this, even better. This task will be much easier if you already have an inventory of personal assets and high-value items in the household.

Take photos of broken windows, jimmied locks, and other evidence of the burglary. If your credit cards, passport, checkbook, or license was stolen, you may be at risk for identity theft. Make extra copies for your insurance company claim.

Contact your insurance company

Most homeowner’s policies will cover structural damage that is caused by a break-in, so be sure and report the incident before you start doing repairs of smashed windows or broken doors. Your carrier will likely ask for the police report case number as well as photographs of the scene. A claims adjuster will want to see your house as is after the break-in, so don’t clean up until after the site visit.

Call your bank

It’s a good idea to protect yourself against identity theft by alerting your bank if sensitive documents were taken. Change your online PIN and passwords if you lost your laptop in the break-in. Depending on the circumstances, you might need to order new credit or debit cards.

Alert your neighbors

Criminals tend to target multiple homes within a residential area, so talk to your neighbors about the break-in. This way, they can take extra precautions to secure their home and be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Reduce the chances of repeat burglary

Explore measures you can take to improve home security and reduce the chances of a future break-in. From motion sensor lights and smart locks to wireless surveillance systems, there are numerous options to make your house less vulnerable to thieves.

Prevent home break-ins with Maryland Security Professionals

Maryland Security Professionals can help you prepare for the future and protect your home with our state-of-the-art camera systems. Not sure what kind of security improvements you need? Call today to request a free security audit.

Our team specializes in residential camera installation and maintenance. We are proud to serve residents throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware.

Additional Resources:

  1. KTVB 7, We asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes
  2. Family Handyman, 13 Things to Do If Your Home Gets Broken Into
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