A quick definition…
There appears to be a small yet significant difference between the terms burglary and robbery, according to Victorian law.
Robbery is defined by criminallegal.com.au as stealing and in order to do so, “uses force on any person”.
Burglary, on the other hand, refers to someone who enters a building, part of a building, or vehicle as a trespasser with the intent to steal, commit a crime, or damage any part of a building.
So, what do you do if your home has been burgled?
Read on to find out…
Leave the house
Have you returned home to the frightening scene of an open or broken door or window?
It can be incredibly unsettling to see that your safe haven – your home – has been violated by strangers. Your first instinct may be to tear through the house to see what’s missing, but it’s important that you keep your cool and follow the below precautions.
Not only will they help police should they need to launch an investigation, but the below guidance will keep you and your family safe.
Do not enter the home
If you have arrived home to find that your house has been burglarised, do not enter; the thief could still be on your premises. Remain in your locked car or go to a trusted neighbour’s house.
Do not touch anything
If you touch anything, you could be destroying evidence. If you saw the thief or thieves leave and you are waiting inside for police, do not touch anything.
Call the police
You should do this as soon as possible, as the culprit may still be in the area, or could even be plotting their second break-in for the day.
This may sound obvious, but it might surprise you to learn that many people do not call the police to report a crime. The benefit of calling, however, is two-fold:
- You may be able to recover any stolen goods
- You may prevent this from happening to someone else!
Contact your insurance company
Your insurer will rely on information from the police to make a legitimate claim, so it’s important that the police file an official report.
Assess what’s missing
Now that the police have left and you have filed an official report, you can start identifying goods that are missing. From jewellery and electronics to cash and DVDs, note it all. This will help you out when filing an insurance claim.
Prepare for the future
There’s nothing in the world anyone can do to guarantee that a burglar cannot enter (or attempt to enter) your home, however there are a few things you can do to make your home look less desirable to a would-be thief.
Consider the pros and cons of a tall fence
Sure, it can obstruct attractive possessions inside you home from the street front, but does it also give would-be thieves the perfect cover as they go snooping round your home? It’s a classic debate.
Change the locks
Repair faulty locks, improve your lock system, and install locks on windows, too. The startling reality is that 34% of thieves enter a home through the front door! One of the easiest ways to deter thieves is to make it simply far too difficult to get into your home with secure, modern, robust locks.
Secure your garage
Many garages provide direct access to a home, so treat this door as you would any regular external door
Replace your car keys
If your car keys have been stolen, Galmier can cut and reprogram car keys from scratch.
Make a list of all the valuables in your home
Note down the make, model, year, and approximate value of electrical goods like televisions, tablets, and smartphones, as well as any jewellery or cash you keep at home.
Don’t be a hero
Contact the police if you have any other information to share, and don’t be ashamed to take a day or two off work to rest. Your personal safety has been compromised and it’s hard to not feel emotionally shaken during this situation. Remember, it’s OK to feel that way. (And please, leave the crime-solving to the pros)
You can read more great tips that will help make your home look secure in this blog post.