A home robbery can leave you feeling vulnerable and unsafe. Your first action should be to make sure you're safe (don't enter the home until and unless you are sure the thieves have left), and your second should be to call the police. Once the police report has been taken and you are left with your possibly ransacked house, what should you do? Read through this list of steps to take after the dust settles following a break-in and robbery.
Start a Neighborhood Watch
It will make you feel better and can help keep you safer if you know that others are keeping an eye on what is happening in your community. You'll get to know your neighbors and you can make it a collaborative effort to keep your community safe. In addition, just having the "neighborhood watch" stickers on your home and on signs in your area are a deterrent to those who might have been canvasing your neighborhood as a potential target.
The place to start if you are interested in this course of action is with your local police or sheriff's department. The officer will teach you and your fellow neighborhood watch members what to watch for, as well as what to do if something suspicious should occur.
Take Further Precautions
You can make your home less likely to be burglarized again by taking a good look around the property and making changes. A shatter-proof screen door and an alarm can make your home less attractive to would-be thieves. Also, trim any bushes that might be making your front door or windows less visible to those on the street. These provide a great hiding place for someone with nefarious intentions.
If your house was burglarized while you were on vacation, be sure to make your home look like it's not vacant the next time you go away. The Independent Traveler suggests simple steps like putting lights on a timer, having someone collect your newspapers and mow your lawn, and not posting about your travel plans on any public social media sites.
If you have been considering getting a pet, a dog (of any size) is an excellent deterrent. Even a small, yappy dog can make a burglar think again; no one wants to deal with the potential of a dog bite, no matter how small a dog seems. Don't want a dog? That's okay. You can still put out a "beware of dog" sign and, if you want to, a dog's water bowl. Some burglars won't want to take the chance that it's all for show. Remember that anything you can do to make a thief think, "maybe another house would be easier," can reduce your chances of being targeted again.
Take Care of Your Emotional Needs
Once your home is back to how it was before the break-in, you may find that your emotions are anything but. It's completely normal to continue to feel frightened, violated and upset after a burglary has occurred. Talk to your friends and family about your feelings. Also, talk to your local police to determine whether there is anything else you can do to keep your home safer.
If you find yourself fixated on your safety or discover that your fear is taking a toll on your everyday life, you might consider talking to a counselor or therapist. Ask your doctor for a referral if necessary.
Getting over a burglary can be difficult, but as long as you secure your property, take steps to feel safer and keep an eye on your emotional health, you should soon be able to sleep at night without worrying about every creak or bump.
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