What To Do After a Burglary at Your Apartment
It can happen to anyone.
An apartment burglary is more than just a statistic on a police incident report. It’s a personal violation.
Safewise reports the most common time for burglaries is between noon and 4 p.m. Nighttime burglaries — between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. — account for only about 17 percent of all break-ins.
We’ve put together a list of steps to follow should you find yourself the victim of an apartment burglary. By proactively protecting yourself, you’ll hopefully feel steadier and more in control of the situation.
1. Call the police
If you’re unsure whether the burglars are still in your apartment, don’t enter. Leave immediately and call the police from a secure location, such as a neighbor’s unit. Or, go to the leasing office. If you’re certain they’ve gone, call 911 right away.
Touch nothing. Locate your pets, if you have any, to ensure they are safe. While waiting for the police to arrive, take photos. However, be careful to leave any signs of the apartment break-in undisturbed. When the police arrive, cooperate. Give them as much information as you can.
2. Notify your property manager or landlord
Has there been any damage to your doors or windows? Or to your door lock? Be sure to document with photos. Discuss how soon repairs can be made.
Survey damage throughout the apartment. This information will be shared and will likely overlap between police reports, landlord information and your insurance company. Figure out what’s missing and what’s broken. Note if any bank records, credit cards or ATM cards are missing. If so, cancel them immediately.
3. Seek out witnesses to the crime
Don’t take any risks by doing your own detective work. But if you feel comfortable doing so, you can talk to your neighbors, landscapers and the building’s maintenance workers. See if anyone saw something suspicious on the day your apartment was robbed.
Also, speak with people in the leasing office. They may have seen something of value without realizing it. Witness statements often lead to the capture of the criminal.
Talking with your neighbors and others on the property can also be a big help. It does double-duty by alerting the neighbors to the possibility of another burglary happening on site. Everyone should remain vigilant.
4. Ask to see video from security cameras
Find out if there are security cameras on the property. If so, did the police review them for any unusual activity? Were the security cameras able to pick up on any activity near your apartment? It’s worth a shot. The robber might have parked in visitor parking. Steps can possibly be traced back to the timing of the robber arriving on the property based on video footage.
5. File an insurance claim
Most rental communities ask tenants to carry renters insurance. Here’s where it actually becomes valuable. Put together a comprehensive list of stolen or damaged personal items. Then provide your insurance company with all the details.
If you have photos — either taken as a precaution before the robbery or images of property destroyed during the incident — send both, with detailed records.
6. Take steps to avoid future break-ins
With your landlord or apartment manager, determine what can be done to avoid future break-ins. How can you make your apartment more secure? Here are some musts to follow:
- Always lock your windows and doors while you’re away
- Leave a light on in the evenings while you’re out to give the appearance of someone at home
- Hide valuables
- Make a video inventory of all of your valuables for future reference
- Consider a home security system
- Consider a deadbolt on your main door entry as the first line of defense (if allowed by your property manager)
While an apartment break-in can happen in any neighborhood, there are steps you can take to get through it. Be proactive to reduce the risk of it happening in the future. Stay safe and rest easy knowing you’ve put safeguards in place.
Published at Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:54:58 +0000