Apartment Safety: What to Do if Your Apartment Has Been Burglarized

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Apartment Safety: What to Do if Your Apartment Has Been Burglarized

Staff Writer · Feb 11, 2010

Unfortunately, burglaries happen and it is not something you can be mentally prepared to deal with. Being aware of what to do in these situations and the basics of apartment safety can help get you through an unfortunate and uncomfortable event such as a burglary. Many apartments do not have the security that a home may have, and become a perfect target for burglars.

Leave Right Away

If you return home to find that your apartment has been broken into, leave the apartment immediately. This is done for several reasons. Safety is the number one reason, the burglar may still be in the apartment, you never know. Secondly, when the police arrive the scene should be undisturbed for them to investigate. Touching and moving things inside the apartment may disturb evidence you are not aware of.

Report the Burglary

Leave the apartment and call the police from your cellphone or a neighbors phone, not from inside the apartment. Call 911 and give them information about where you live and what has happened. Tell the police where you currently are waiting so that they can find you on the scene once they arrive. Do not go back in to the apartment until the police have arrived and checked it over. Remember that once the police have completed their investigation the crime should also be reported to your apartment insurance company as well as the management of the apartment complex.

Document The Event

The police will file a report about the burglary to have on file but you should document as much information yourself as well. Your renters insurance will be asking you lots of questions about damage and missing items when you speak with them so having a list to refer to makes this process much easier. Make a list of anything missing in the apartment. Remember to check little things too to see if they are missing, not just big items. List any personal items damaged as well as any property such as walls that will need repair. Inform your insurance company of any items needing reimbursement.

Make Some Changes If Needed

Once the police have investigated, they may be able to tell you how the burglar broke in. This may give you an idea of what changed could be made to make the apartment more secure. Adding a secondary locking device to sliding glass doors is a good way to add security. Sliding glass doors are often easily pried open, adding a piece of wood or any type of blocking device that will prevent the door from sliding open once the latch is pried is an easy fix. Blocking devices for windows are available for a very low cost that will prevent the windows from sliding all the way up once they are pried open.

Inform Others

If the burglary was successful, chances are they will return to try it again with another apartment. Inform neighbors of the break in and have the apartment managers post fliers or send out a newsletter informing others of the incident and how the apartment was broken into. They can add preventative measures to their apartment as well to hopefully prevent it from happening again.

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