Friday, March 22, 2013

What To Do In The Event of a Burglary or Theft

I was just reading in the paper about a series of break-ins to local business and homeowners. Aside from the anger and frustration of being violated by having someone break into your home or business there are steps required to repair the damage and make your home or business secure. I remember when it happened to me and thought back to the steps that I learned through trial and error:
Here is a basic checklist of the things you should do (depending on the nature of the crime):

·         Ensure everyone is out of danger.

·         Check the well-being of anyone else who was involved.

·         Call 911.

·         Administer first aid if required.

·         Identify witnesses, if appropriate

·         After theft or burglary, try not to touch anything at the scene until the police arrive.

·         Re-secure your property.

·         Make an inventory of what has been damaged or stolen.

·         If you are a victim of crime abroad, contact the US Embassy or consulate in the host location, as well as local police.

·         Contact your insurer or agent and follow instructions for making a claim.

There are numerous other things that might be appropriate, depending on the advice of the police and your insurer. They are there to help and advise you, so try to follow their guidance.
The US Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) produces an extremely useful factsheet that covers your rights, where to get help, and details of state compensation and assistance programs. You can download it here:

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