What to Do After Your House Was Burgled

You come home from an evening out and find the front door ajar. Your home has been burgled. Now what?

If your home is burgled, it’s an unsettling experience. Here are seven things you need to do.

Call the Police

Your number one priority is to call the police since the longer you wait, it will be more difficult to catch those responsible and get your items returned. Wait for the police to arrive before entering the house.

Make a List of Details

Write down any details that can help police, such as a description of the intruders if you saw them or any recent events that may have led to the break-in. Did anyone come to your home in the days prior and ask anything out of the ordinary? What is missing?

Take Photos

Take some photos of the crime scene, but try not to disturb anything. Include photos of where the burglars got in and any messes that were made. Photos can help you with insurance claims.

Talk with Police

Ask the police about your options when it comes to filing a report. You may be able to do this online or down at the police station. Be sure to get a contact name and number in case you remember anything else that can help in the investigation.

Call Your Insurance Company

As soon as you’re done filing a police report, contact your insurance company. You will need the police report number to file a claim. An adjuster will likely make an appointment to come to your home.

Here are 10 smart ways to save on homeowners insurance.

Talk to Your Kids and Neighbors

If you have kids that are upset by what happened, reassure them that things will be OK. Explain how police are going to help and how insurance works. Make sure they feel safe in their home. If you have neighbors, it’s a good idea to let them know of the break-in so they can take precautions.

Make Security a Priority

Repair and strengthen any entry points such as doors and windows.

There are several inexpensive ways to secure your home.

Consider getting a home security system.

Note that there are some reliable security systems you can install yourself.

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Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.