According to the FBI’s latest statistics property crime is increasing. The statistics show that a burglary occurs once every 15 seconds, or 4 times every minute! Many of the items taken cannot be replaced (things like family heirlooms, collections, anniversary gifts, electronics, computers, etc.) and those that can, tend to be expensive (engagement rings, necklaces, firearms, etc.). Most items that are stolen during a burglary are fairly small, and as such are easy for a burglar to carry off and to pawn. Not to mention that if your computer is stolen, if you are like most people, there goes your identity as well.
The average loss (according to insurance estimates, which means after they have notified you that you are not covered for the full value of your items) is over $1,000.00. After a burglary you try your best to itemize the stolen items, only to find out months later that another item was stolen, but now the insurance company tells you it is too late to claim that item. One way of itemizing your household is to make a video recording of you walking through your house, naming and filming all of your property. This shows not only the item and its condition, but that it was actually in your home, so it avoids the issue of an extended insurance investigation. Also, as much as possible be sure to have a good description of each item and, if possible, have it appraised (be sure to keep the appraisals in a very safe place, perhaps away from the home).
Single family homes are twice as likely to be burglarized as apartments or multiple family homes. The majority of burglaries occur while no one is home. Criminals don’t like others around to see their dirty work, but also because they don’t want an upgraded charge (if someone is home, the police can charge a higher crime). If you happen to come home while the criminal is there DO NOT try to stop them. Run outside immediately and call the police or security. Do not go back in the house until the police tell you to. If you return home to find it ransacked, leave and call the police, even if you believe that the burglar is gone. They will check your home for you to ensure there is not someone still inside or that anything hazardous is left inside (things like broken glass, etc.). Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry, and the officers would rather escort you into your home than have to respond to an injury or worse. If you own a weapon, please remember that in most cases, the person who owns the weapon tends to have that weapon used against them. Be safe and call the police, even if you feel you are able to “handle” the situation.
It is unfortunate, but most people don’t think about things like security patrols and alarm systems until after something has happened, either to them or someone they know. Burglars look for easy targets, and there are many things you can do to make your home less likely to be burglarized. The majority of police departments will gladly send out an officer to survey your home and give you suggestions on home security. Take advantage of this service as it is free and can possibly save you not only the feeling of violation or the headache of an insurance claim, but may in fact end up saving you from an injury or worse.