© Light Field Studios/Shutterstock.com

Burglary Discovering a break-in: How to behave

A burglary is a quite traumatic event for the victims, in which their privacy is violated by intruders. As a result of the crime, homes are destroyed, closets are ransacked and the intruders have rummaged through even the most intimate of possessions. A burglary is undoubtedly an upsetting experience. But even in the midst of this shock, certain steps need to be considered immediately after the discovery.

Call the police via the emergency number
First and foremost, the police should be informed to ensure an immediate response.

Documentation of the crime scene
Subsequently, documentation is of crucial importance. Photographs of the condition of the home, the devastation and the signs of burglary are essential.

Change nothing
However, nothing should be changed or touched in the flat before the police arrive in order to keep potential evidence at the crime scene untouched.

Block EC-card 
In the event of stolen EC or credit cards, these should be blocked immediately. The relevant telephone numbers can be found on your bank's website.

Create stolen goods list
Together with the police, a list of stolen property should be drawn up detailing stolen possessions. The items should be described in as much detail as possible. Ideally, device numbers and identification photos should be added to facilitate identification and support the police investigation.

Report damage to the insurance company

The burglary and the associated damage should be reported to the insurance company, using the list of stolen property as a basis for documentation. Damaged items should be kept until the insurance company has clarified everything and, if necessary, an expert from the insurance company can determine the actual value of the damage.


At the same time, millions of citizens have to deal with the serious consequences of criminal offences every year, be it burglaries or fraud. In many cases, victims are not treated appropriately and the impact of crime is trivialised. Victims often hear phrases like: "It's not that bad, nothing happened to you." In the public eye, the focus is often more on the offender - their story, their prosecution and conviction - and the consequences for the victim are quickly forgotten.

Aid organisations like "WEISSER RING" have set itself the task of changing this perception and providing victims of crime with appropriate support and assistance. This help begins with a simple telephone call and extends to personal visits and assistance with official matters, including financial support for legal advice. Human assistance and non-material support are the cornerstones of the help offered by these organisaitons.


As a rule of thumb, mechanical security systems in combination with electronic solutions provide all-round burglary protection. Find out more in our guide to burglary protection:

Loading ...