Have you been a victim of burglary? Many times, victims are in a such a state of panic that they don’t know what to do.
Discovering your business has been burglarized is unexpected, but, did you know businesses are burglarized four times more than residential homes? The availability of merchandise, and the possibility of cash, is a great temptation to commercial burglars, but is not always a sure thing with home intrusions. Small businesses, some lacking the safe cash management procedures of larger stores, are targeted over half the time, where significant damage and losses can cause irreparable harm to the livelihood of its owners.
The important thing to remember is to stay calm and report the burglary to the authorities as soon as possible. Once you realize that you are a victim of a burglary, there are several helpful things you can do to simplify the reporting process. Use these tips to learn how to report a burglary in your home or business.
- Avoid entering your home or business if you notice a door or window that is open (and wasn’t before) or one that is damaged. By entering, you may be placing yourself in danger if the burglar or thieves are still in the building. Stay outside and collect your thoughts.
- Call the police immediately with the nature of any injuries or danger that exists as a result of the break-in, including a description of vehicles, persons or other evidence involved in the crime.
- Allow law enforcement officers to investigate your home or business location before you enter it. They can be sure the building is safe and clear before you enter. They may choose to examine and dust for fingerprints before allowing you back inside. It is important to let them do their job.
- Make a list of missing or damaged items. If your business is a mess after a burglary, it may be difficult to notice all of the missing or damaged items immediately. However, continue making the list for as long as you notice items that are gone. If you have serial numbers for any missing or damaged goods (such as electronics), find these in your records and report them to the police.
- Contact your insurance agent and report the burglary. They can help you through the insurance claim process.
- Repair or replace any damaged windows or doors immediately to avoid further burglaries or intrusions. Call a locksmith and request that all locks be changed in case the burglars were able to take your keys or obtain a copy of them. Warn your neighbors or neighboring businesses to be on the lookout for anything suspicious in the area. They may also be inclined to report anything suspicious they have seen or heard.
- Get in touch with the credit bureaus, cell phone company or the bank to ward off any charges to your accounts. It may take a while to notice that credit cards, phones, phone cards or checks have been taken. By contacting these entities immediately, you are taking a preemptive step to avoid any fraudulent charges.