One of the biggest nightmares that homeowners face is dealing with a break-in. The reality of having a stranger break into what’s supposed to be “safe haven” can be terrifying, to say the least.
A break-in isn’t a scenario that many want to think about. The thought of someone entering your home by force, invading your privacy, and placing your safety and that of your loved ones at risk is the biggest fear for most people. Unfortunately, statistics show that more than 2 million burglaries occur in the US annually. Of those, about three quarters occur in residential homes, translating to an intrusion every 13 seconds. What’s worse is that in more than a quarter of these break-ins, at least one family member was home. In some cases, this person became a victim of a violent crime.
Considering the prevalence of break-ins in the US, it is essential to be knowledgeable about how to go about the process. To help shed some light on the topic, we consulted the website of attorney John Barnes, one of the leading criminal defense lawyers in the US. Here are some of the things we learned.
Call the police
As with any criminal incident, the first thing to do is to inform the authorities. Usually, the police will come to your home and record the break-in. They will also provide information you need to file an insurance claim.
It’s essential to record everything when it’s still fresh. So, take note of everything you see (or can recall about the break-in), including time, voices, movement and so on. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of anything, and everything that you think will add value (in terms of evidence) to your case. Pictures will show how your house looked like after the robbery or burglary.
Don’t touch anything
Touching things may tamper with evidence. So, rather than trying to move items around, you want to leave everything as is until the police are out of your home. Again, you don’t want to throw any broken property – this happens a lot due to frustration. Damaged items should be recorded for any possible claims.
Contact your insurance provider
You’ll need to contact your insurance provider as soon as you can for guidance on how to carry through with the process of recording the damage as well as listing the stolen items for compensation. Note that you may require the proof of ownership documents, so, you’ll need to locate them beforehand to make the process easier.
Deal with the emotional aspect
A break-in is not just financially draining; it can also have psychological implications. This is especially true if you or your loved one was hurt or injured in the process. A break-in can also leave you feeling vulnerable to future attacks even after beefing up security. However, like with any tragedy, you will get better with time. Just beef up your security and have a positive attitude.