Tucson, AZ isn’t the most dangerous place in the country, but the crime rate is a little higher than the national average, at just under seventeen crimes per day per hundred thousand people. The truth about burglary, something that you’ll find from looking at any number of statistics, is that criminals are opportunists, first and foremost. Here’s what we mean:
- Around a third of all burglaries involve an unlocked door or window. We tend to think that a break-in means literally breaking in, but if a burglar sees a half-open window and no car in the driveway, they’re looking at free money.
- Simply having a security system in place at all makes it far less likely that your home will be burgled. The sticker, the alarm panel, the surveillance camera, all of these will go a long way towards warding off criminals.
- Criminals are as likely to steal liquor, medication, and credit card information as they are to steal jewelry and tvs. It’s actually a lot easier to sell stolen prescription pills on the street than it is to sell a platinum necklace. Jewelry is like a car or a firearm these days. If you bring it into a pawn shop to sell, you’re going to have the clerk calling the cops and every jeweler in town to find out if buying it will get him in trouble, but you can sell credit card information online to people in other countries, and drugs and alcohol are never hard to trade for cash.
- Most burglaries take place between ten in the morning and three in the afternoon. Very few burglars do their break-ins at night. A shattered window is going to wake up half the neighborhood, but around noon, everyone is at work or school, including the neighbors.
Simple preventative measures will help to seriously reduce the chances that a burglar victimizes you, but it can happen no matter who you are or what security measures you have in place. So what do you do if it does happen, and how can we be prepared for that?
- Keep an updated inventory of your home’s contents for your insurer. Any time you make a new purchase that you want to be covered, get photos, receipt copies, and make sure that your insurer knows what you need to be protected.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe a burglary doesn’t sound as bad as, say, losing a beloved pet, but it is a big deal. You feel victimized, and it can hurt your trust in your fellow man and woman. But others have been through it, and there are support groups for people who have been victims of crime.
- Decide between actual cash value or replacement cost. Many homeowners go with replacement cost, as this cuts through a lot of concerns regarding depreciation and so on.
Going through a burglary is no fun, but it’s a setback that you can recover from. Your insurer is there to cover the material damages, and your support group can handle the rest.