Fernando is a millennial university student who writes real articles for real people.
Before We Begin
Let me tell you a quick story that you will probably be surprised to hear. I recently found a guy trying to steal something from my car. I was out with my girlfriend and her family when I discovered a couple of men looking through a bunch of cars. Unfortunately, my car was one of them.
I was infuriated. My girlfriend's uncle and I chased them. Regrettably, they were gone within a few moments. However, this experience raises the question: what now?
What You Should Do After a Robbery
- Check for losses. The reason I mention checking for losses first is because you don't even know what has been stolen, yet. Although it is completely fine to call the police the moment this criminal act occurs, I personally like to speed up the process by quickly making an inventory check. After all, you want to save yourself the embarrassment of not knowing what exactly you have lost when making a police report.
- Of course, call 9-1-1 if it's an emergency. This is the obvious choice for many, so I don't need to explain this one too much.
- Make a Police Report. You need to call the police in order to let them know what has happened. Unfortunately, a lot of people will not become satisfied with this because the perpetrator might not get caught within the next few days. So, it's safe to say that one day in the near future the criminal will be caught. Either way, make a police report. This is the safest action you can take, especially after being robbed or having your house or car broken into.
- Check Surrounding Vicinity. So, you've called the police and they should be on your way. Look around your home, your car, or whatever that you own in order to gather more information on what happened. You'll want to let the police officer know what happened while letting him know what other information you were able to pick up. For example, maybe there's a hat in your backyard that shouldn't be there. This hat, as an example, might be the type of evidence you will need in order to find this guy.
- Let Your Neighbors Know. I know this might come as a shock, but I've heard that there are a lot of people out there that get their houses broken into and don't tell all of their neighbors about it. It's up to you to talk with your neighbors. Interestingly, these kinds of situations are the ones that help people bond together. In order to take down a common enemy, your neighbors may ally with you in order to make sure there isn't any potentially fraudulent activity going on around your neighborhood. It is essential you don't forget to talk to anyone that lives in your street, as they also might be a lead for something greater.
- Be Patient and Let Out Your Nerves. Don't get stressed out over what happened. Don't be afraid. If at all possible, drive to your girlfriend or boyfriend's house, or a relative you have somewhere outside of the city. You need to feel safe and you may need a few days to emotionally recuperate. I know this, because my girlfriend is actually still shaken about this. It's not easy for her and it's not easy for me. My car was broken into right in front of my eyes and all I could feel was deep fear and disgust for whoever targeted my car. After all, as a person all I ever want to feel is safe and these sorts of actions are what keep me from feeling so.
What You Shouldn't Do After a Robbery
- Chase the person. Look, even I am guilty of this, but let me explain why this is a bad idea. As civilians, we are usually unarmed. We don't carry knives or guns with us whenever we want. Therefore, we are already at a disadvantage. You see, all of these criminals walking and lurking around the streets may be armed. They have probably been thinking about committing bad deeds, and probably have planned it already. The main concern, for me, is that you will be chasing someone that could turn around and kill you. The worst thing you could do is chase someone that was trying to rob you, and for one good reason: your life is valuable. Call 9-1-1. I gave some advice, above, for those people that had their place robbed, but the problem is that it's only feasible when you don't know anything about who the criminals were. However, if you saw the perpetrators fleeing in their car or something, you need to call 9-1-1 in order to describe the car.
- Stress Out Your Family. This is a mistake on your part because a robbery is distressful enough. The last thing you want to do is stress your family out and make them feel as if they are not safe in their own home. After all, everyone in the world has to go through dangerous situations at some point. Therefore, it is in your best interest to keep them out of the complete loop as long as you can. However, it is perfectly fine to explain to them what happened in a nutshell.
- Be Out Late at Night. For obvious reasons, you should allow yourself a week or two, if not a few, in order to reset your publicity. If someone has broken into your car or your home, they probably have been watching you for some time. Aside from that, they know you're hiding valuables on the inside—or, rather, they believe you are. Therefore, it is essential for you to keep your head down for a while in order to get those persistent criminals off of your back.
- Be Bad. Like I mentioned in #3, the last thing you want to do at this point is piss someone off that doesn't like you. You are vulnerable at this point. The perpetrator could come back, for example, so you have to be extremely careful. Although the police may have agreed to look around, including increasing surveillance of the area, you shouldn't play with your life. You know, I like the law. They take care of us. However, if someone breaks into your house trying to kill you, that's not something the police can do anything about without being there personally. Therefore, you need to take extra precautions to make sure you're okay. After all, even though justice will always be served in the end, you can't bring back a life. You understand?
Continue to Live Your Life
You know, life isn't exactly going to be all rainbows and unicorns. There will be times where you'll run into robbers and, unfortunately, you are going to have to figure out how to handle criminals' pressures. Ultimately, the process doesn't have to be hard.
Interestingly, many victims of criminal activity will become fairly stressed.
It is important, once again, to note that you shouldn't play the role of detective because the deed is done.
- There are no more leads for you. The baddies are gone. It's best you let it be.
- There's a chance the criminals may have a weapon. For instance, if you were to attack a man that is trying to steal your car, there is a possible chance he will retaliate. Theoretically, you could be killed if you were to be found approaching a man in an instant he is trying to steal your car or commit other fraudulent acts. It is, therefore, essential that you understand how important it is to leave this work to the authorities. After all, they have guns.
- It's just material. Unless they're breaking into your property for your little bag of weed or something, it's safe to assume they are only after material. Therefore, just try to keep your stuff locked up.
If you're distressed, trust me. I know how you feel. I may not be extra experienced in being robbed, but I've seen my fair share and I understand how stressful those experiences can be.
Fortunately, justice will be served. Again, again, and again.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2017 Ferny Vise