What To Do When Your Home Is Burglarized During A Vacation
Having your home burglarized at any time isn't fun, but it can be especially devastating if you're on vacation while it happens. Here are some steps to pick up the pieces and prevent a future attack.
If You're Still On Vacation
If you get the report from a neighbor or from your home security company while you're still away, it's a good idea to send someone to scout out the property. See if there are any open doors or broken windows that are a target for continued break-ins. If a burglar gets away with stealing from your home and they see that the front door is still open a few days later, they might just decide to come back in. Better yet, if you can, is to have a friend or relative stay in your home until you get back and possibly get broken windows fixed for you.
Filing a Police Report
Once you get back, it's time to file a thorough police report. Go through your home and note anything that was damaged or taken during the break in. If the burglar left behind any objects, report these as well in your police report. The report helps the police find the criminal. But even if nothing is recovered, a police report will be necessary for your renter's insurance or home insurance claim.
Having your home broken into may make you more aware of the security challenges within your own home. Consult a professional about getting home security cameras or alarms installed. Fortifying windows is another important step, especially if you have single pane windows and doors that thieves know they can easily break into. And your garage may also be a point of entry for burglars, so make sure you have the kind of garage door that isn't easily pried away from its casing.
Consider your lock safety as well. If your home is broken into as soon as you go on vacation, you might suspect that someone had access to your key. They may have had a copy, or they might have known where you kept the spare key. In either case, speak to your locksmith about rekeying the locks or installing an electronic lock system. And find a new location for your spare key-- or don't have one outside your home at all!
Finally, video surveillance can be used, both before and after a break-in. Before a burglary, it can help you determine when someone has been lurking around your property so that you can be on alert. And after a break-in, you will be able to provide footage to law enforcement to hopefully apprehend the criminal.