Despite your efforts to make your home an impenetrable, burglar-proof safe haven, the sad truth is that burglaries can still happen. Perhaps you simply forgot to lock the bathroom window? Maybe your intruder used physical force to quickly ransack your property?
Whatever the case may be, these stubborn and thoughtless intruders invade the privacy of millions of American homes every year. With these break-ins comes not only the loss of your peace of mind, but also the loss of your precious (and expensive) belongings. In fact, with between $2,000 - $3,000 worth of goods reported on average per break in—you could be put in a very bad situation.
So what can victims of a break in do to try to recover the stolen property?
Call the Authorities ASAP
While you may be shaken up after a break in, and understandably so, one of the best measures to retrieve your stolen property is to let the proper authorities know immediately. When speaking with the police, details can make all the difference; when, how, and where the items were stolen can help your chances on getting your valuables back.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for your detailed police report so that you are able to cross check any details and ensure that it is accurate. Once you have given the authorities every detail you can remember and you have your report, follow up periodically to check the progress.
Many items that end up stolen property from your home are small, expensive, and easy to resell. This means that often times your laptops, tablets, and smart phones are hot ticket items for burglars. Thankfully, there are some helpful hacks that may help your track down these valuable items.
One incredibly useful method to find your smart phone is to utilize the “Find My Phone” feature. From Apple to Android, there are different apps and methods for this, but the principle remains the same. You are able to log in from someone else’s phone or on a computer and track the exact whereabouts of your device. This can help you see if it has been left somewhere or sold to another shop. Don’t attempt to retrieve these items yourself—give this information to the authorities.
Check the Pawnshop
Oftentimes, the first stop for a burglar after a break in is the neighborhood pawn shop. These stores don’t typically require much information or proof of purchase, so it is an easy out for some quick cash.
If you are successful in your pawnshop visit and have found your stolen property, don’t break out the sob story just yet. Pawnshop owners don’t necessarily have to just hand over an item that they can turn around and sell for a profit. Instead, it’s recommended that you feign interest in the product and have them hold it for you. After that, you should immediately notify the police and they will take care of retrieving it for you.
Don’t Forget to Look Online
In today’s age, instead of the pawnshop, savvier burglars will instead go online to sell your precious valuables. Popular sites like Craigslist and eBay enable burglars to anonymously sell your items without much risk. It is important to check online for these and similar sites as soon as possible to track down your items.
In addition, many websites enable you to report stolen items and share them on social media to make sure that anyone locally will be aware.
Advice for the Future
Don’t be too discouraged if your stolen property search didn’t prove fruitful, you can always prepare yourself for next time. First thing is to make sure your home security system is in working order and properly set up. If you haven’t updated your system in a while, now may be the time!
Additionally, it can be massively helpful when locating your stolen property if they have unique marking. Whether it be a sticker or a tiny mark, anything can be helpful so that your belongings stand out. Lastly, be sure to write down all serial numbers from your electronics. This can be hugely helpful when giving the details to the police.