Derek Marino lives in a middle class area of Federal Way, Washington. Unfortunately, one day, Derek had his home burglarized and the thieves took everything they could carry including keys to the home, cars, and even an SD card full of family photos.
After the burglary, Derek did what any person would do and had his home rekeyed, along with getting new keys to his vehicles. After dealing with the trauma of being burglarized, Derek believed he had covered all his bases and taken extra precautions to avoid having his home broken into again.
Sadly, later in the week, the same thieves came back to his home and burglarized it for a second time. According to Derek, “These guys were a step ahead of me the whole time, it’s kinda scary, you know?”
Now, you may be thinking, why would these thieves come back? Well, the thing is, they took a garage door opener from one of Derek’s cars. The problem was Derek had forgot to account for the garage door opener; therefore he didn’t change the code of the opener making it easy for the thieves to come back and get inside his home.
There’s no doubt these criminals were looking for easy targets and they knew they would have no problem getting into Derek’s home for a second time. Unfortunately for Derek, he now sleeps on his couch at night because he’s worried they will come back to strike again.
Now, it’s no secret that criminals such as arsonists and murderers like to return to the scene of their crimes to see their work, but that fact is, this is true for street level burglars as well.
You see, just like in the case of Derek, the burglars returned to the scene of their crime because they believed Derek probably didn’t change the garage door opener code, and they were right. Basically, if a burglar knows an easy way to get into a home, chances are, they will try it again.
Plus, most criminals don’t hang out in houses for a long time; they want to grab valuables and leave. However, if there was something they wanted but couldn’t carry with them the first time, they might come back for it if they want it bad enough. Considering this, I want to share with you a few measures that you’ll want to think about if you or anyone you know has had their home broken into.
Document and view video. After contacting your local police, you should document everything you can. If you have home security cameras you need to make sure and save the video before it’s looped over or erased. In addition, make sure you record a video of the scene and any evidence you may need to provide your insurance company.
Account for what is missing. Once you’ve called the police and your insurance company, you need to meticulously check to see what is missing. I recommend going room to room and checking to make sure everything is where you recall it being left, including cabinets or drawers. Basically, you want to make sure you don’t forget anything such as a garage opener since this could leave you vulnerable.
Fix the weakness. Whether the burglars entered through a door or window you need to fix whatever the criminals exploited to gain access to your home. If you had installed a cheap deadbolt, then you should definitely replace it with an Schlage or Medeco brand lock. If they entered through a first-floor window, then you should consider installing security screens or glass break security sensors that can alert you if a window is broken.
What Do You Do After Your Home Has Been Broken. If the criminals made off with jewelry or family heirlooms you may want to do everything you can to help police locate these items. For this reason, I would start checking out your local pawnshops and even your online classified websites such as Craigslist or Facebook Classifieds. Most likely, the thieves don’t want your grandmothers wedding ring so they will probably try to turn it for a quick profit at a pawnshop or online. If you happen to track down any of your stolen property contact the police immediately and they can assist you with getting it back.
Change all passwords/card numbers. Now, how many folks have bank documents or credit card statements that contain account information in their home? While most burglars are looking for physical items they can grab and take with them, you never know if they’ve taken pictures of account numbers or credit card numbers. So, if you have any of this information in a filing cabinet or even on your computer, you should assume it’s been compromised and change everything.
Remember, criminals are lazy and will always look for the easiest targets. Once they have been inside your home and know the layout it could be extremely appealing to them to strike again.
So, if you don’t have basic security measures such as an alarm system, security cameras and lights around your home, definitely install these right away.