What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Theft
You never think it’ll happen to you, until it does. Being a victim of theft is a scary and stressful event, but you can get through this. Have an idea of what to do before anything happens so that you are ready for the worst. Take a few breaths, and react by taking care of the situation.
- Stay Calm: Your adrenaline is pumping. It’s jarring to be a victim of theft. Your mind is racing a thousand miles per second, and already the emotions are starting to flood in. You’re angry, upset, and blaming yourself. Stop all of those things immediately. Keep your mind calm with deep breaths, and keep your composure. This will help you think and recall any strange details that can help investigators try to find the missing items.
- Contact The Police: Before you do anything, contact the police. This is a crime, and it needs to be reported no matter how small. Give the police details of where you were, what the situation was the the item when missing, and any other occurrences that could help them figure out who took the belongings. It may take a day or two for you to recall relevant information, so keep the name and contact information of the officer who creates your case report. You can add those details in later.
- Take A Record of Everything Taken: As you are talking with the police recall everything that was taken. Give great detail of the material items so that they know exactly what they are looking for. This is also important for insurance purposes. They need all the information that they can get, so they can replace the items.
- Try GPS Locators: If an electronic device was taken, the try to use a GPS locator to see if you can track where the thief went. Use another electronic device to login to your account and look for Find My iPhone, or similar apps. This can also be useful information for the police to use to go after the trail of the thief. Do NOT go to the location where the GPS locator takes you without the police. It can be dangerous to confront a criminal without backup. Let the police handle this.
- Cancel Cards: If a wallet was stolen, then you need to cancel any credit and debit cards that were in the wallet. Do this as soon as you possibly can to avoid any fraudulent charges being made against you while they have your belongings. The credit card companies and banks will send out new cards immediately for you to activate and connect to your existing accounts. It can be tricky nowadays to do things without plastic payment. You’ll need to have support from friends and family to get you through the hard time of having now means of cash for the few days while you wait on the cards to come. If you go to the bank that you are with, they can give you cash out of the account, but you’ll need to have a valid ID on you.
- Deactivate Electronics: If the thief stole an electronic device, then call the service provider and have that device shutdown. Deactivate the account, until you are ready to connect a new device to the account, which will automatically shut down the old one for good.
Remember that in the long run, things are just things. Everything can be replaced. You, however, cannot be replaced. Be grateful that nothing terrible happened to you, and that the only things missing is a few dollars. The bank and insurance companies will work fast to make you whole again. In the meantime, friends and family will help you pull through.