It’s the one thing nobody wants to find upon returning home: signs that burglars have broken in.
Seeing the door open or the windows broken is an immediate punch to the gut, and we often tend to react without much thought. We might storm inside to see what has been done, look around for what has been taken, move things around, and so on, before we even think of calling the police.
Even worse, we don’t consider that the burglars may still be inside our home, which could pose a serious danger to ourselves.
To keep ourselves safe, to maximize those chances of item retrieval and to help the police catch the burglars, there are a few easy steps to take.
Call the police immediately
Before you even enter your house, call the police and report the burglary. For Cyprus you can call 112 or 199 to do it.
Don’t enter your home immediately
If you are unsure of whether the burglars are still inside, do not enter your house. Instead call the police immediately at 199 and clearly state that you’re afraid of criminals still being inside. Wait for the police to arrive and ensure that it is safe for you to enter.
Touch around as little as possible
If you’re certain that there are no criminals in the house and you enter, try to touch as few surfaces and items as possible. Don’t try to tidy up or straighten anything, as you may be smudging fingerprints or destroying evidence crucial for catching the thieves.
If there is broken glass, especially on the windows or at a door, don’t try to clear it. Not only because it may be potentially dangerous for you but also because DNA evidence may be present. Allow the police to thoroughly look through your house first before freely touching anything.
While you are in your house before the police process it, make sure you walk carefully without disturbing the scene. There may be footprints on the floor that reveal footwear information, so make sure to walk as little as possible in the house while you wait for the police.
Take note if they left anything of theirs behind
If you find any item that doesn’t belong to you, don’t touch it or remove it from where it is. Simply leave it as is and inform the police about it. There may be tools or other items the burglars left behind which can help identify them faster.
Give a clear statement
Help the police by giving as clear a statement as possible about the burglary. Make sure to mention the timeframe of when it must have taken place. Once the scene has been processed and you are cleared to enter your home to sort it out, make sure you look through your household thoroughly. List all the items that have been taken, anything that has been destroyed, anything out of the ordinary that you notice. Provide photographs of the stolen items if you have them.
Don’t delay in getting your full statement in. Time is crucial when it comes to tracking perpetrators of a crime.