Having your home or business broken into can be quite traumatic. Walking into your business early in the morning and finding broken windows and a lot of missing things is an experience most can’t forget or forgive in a hurry. Unfortunately, burglary and theft is a problem that a lot of business owners across the world are continuously facing. For instance, in the United States alone, burglary and theft cost businesses more than $1.4 billion annually. Add that up to the rest of the world, and you have yourself a billion dollar industry.
That said, what should you do when you find your business has been broken into? Well, apart from getting mad and cursing. The following are some helpful tips that should help you recover from a burglary or theft.
1. Call the Police
It is important to call the police immediately you notice signs of a break in. As a safety precaution, you should avoid going inside your business if you suspect a burglary has occurred. For one, they might be hiding inside waiting to harm you. Secondly, you might unintentionally interfere with crucial evidence that could help in police investigations.
However sad or angry you feel about the situation, it is crucial to cooperate with the police. Give them all the information they require and consult with them on the best day or time to reopen the business.
2. Take photos/videos of the scene
Assuming that the business owner is an ordinary civilian, they might not know exactly what clues to look for in a crime scene. This is where one’s smartphone or camera comes in handy. Be sure to take some photos and videos of the crime scene immediately and do not tamper with anything.
Share the pictures with the police since they might spot something that you missed which might help you recover your stolen goods. Make sure to get only the best, most detailed shots because, as they say, the devil is in the details. Here are some scene photography tips that you might find helpful.
3. Take note of the stolen items
After calling the cops and collecting evidence in the form of pics or video, go to your shop to determine missing items. The business inventory book is required for this exercise. If you have employees, involve them in the process as they might note a few missing things that you overlooked.
After doing this, go back to your books and collect proof of ownership such as receipts, serial numbers, and pictures of the items. These can be shared with the police to aid in the recovery process and your insurer to jump-start the compensation process.
4. Clean up and repair damaged items
After the police are through with collecting evidence, it’s time to restore order and get back to business. Unless of course, you have other businesses and won’t suffer big losses if you stay closed. Burglars are usually in a hurry and leave things strewn all over. Rearrange them in their various places and if some are broken, report this to your insurance company or get them repaired or replaced.
5. Carry out an audit and make improvements
There’s an old saying that goes like “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice; it’s on me”. After a theft or burglary incident, it would be understandable if you get angry and frustrated. However, it is important to take this as an opportunity to learn how to secure your business better in future. Actively seek to find out the security failures that made your business vulnerable to theft and find ways to prevent future incidents.
As a precaution, change all your locks and security passwords after a burglary incident. In case it was a failure on your security company’s part, you may have to get another one. As you do so, confirm if they meet the recommended standards of a security company. These include licensing and adequate technological and human resources.