The unfortunate truth is that burglaries are notoriously difficult to solve. Victims of burglaries are often frustrated by this fact, and amidst the many emotions that overtake them after the event, they may feel as though law enforcement is not doing their part to solve the crime.
Burglaries are hard to solve because there is often little evidence. Fingerprints are often contaminated, and even if they are retrieved, suspects are difficult to track down. The best way to solve a burglary is by preventing the event from ever taking place. One of the ways to help keep your home safe is installing home security equipment.
If you can’t prevent a burglary from taking place, you can safeguard your items and mark them as yours with serial numbers. If your items are in protected areas and marked with identifying information, there is a higher likelihood that you will get them back. If a burglary has occurred and you are beginning the search for your items, here are some steps you can take to recover your items:
Inform law enforcement
Start by informing law enforcement of the burglary. Tell them what has been stolen and provide them with photographs and serial numbers of the items that were taken from you.
Providing as many details as possible will enhance the likelihood that your items are tracked down. Remember to wait until police arrive at your home before you touch anything.
You do not want to contaminate the crime scene, and you want to give police the best chance of finding evidence as to who committed the crime. If you have home security equipment, show them the footage of the burglar so they can use that evidence as well.
Visit pawn shops
Burglars are likely to take your items to local pawn shops, thrift stores, or other similar stores. If you have photographs and serial numbers of your items, store owners will be able to return any items that were wrongfully taken from you.
Start with local stores and even consider searching in neighboring cities. Many burglars will head to different cities for a better chance of selling goods because store owners are cognizant not to buy stolen items. If specialty items like jewelry or weapons were taken, check specialty stores.
The online equivalent of a pawn shop or thrift store includes sites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, and other classified options. Check these websites to see if your items are being listed. If you find them, contact the website and law enforcement.
Remember to give your search some time. It’s possible that burglars wait a few weeks or longer before posting items, because they know victims will be looking. Continue to check – even months after the event.
Consult with social media
If you live in a small or tight knit neighborhood and community, it’s possible that neighbors will spot your stolen items. Use social media with discretion, but you can crowd-source photos of the items that were stolen from you.
This strategy will be especially useful if burglars stole large items, like a car, motorcycle, or anything that will be noticeable in the neighborhood. Your neighbors are one of the best resources as crime deterrents, and a resource to solve a crime, because they have the same interest as you in protecting the community.
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