It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: You pull up to your home, and you get this weird feeling that something isn’t quite right. It doesn’t take long to realize someone has broken in, and out of instinct, you race to your jewelry box and find that it’s been ransacked. Panic sets in. What should you do? Fortunately, your Austin fine jewelry store, Copeland Jewelers, has your back. All you need to do is follow these tips, which are sanctioned by the Austin Police Department:
- Personal safety first – As soon as you realize there’s been a break-in, leave the residence and go to a secure location, such as a friend or neighbor’s house, and call 911 from there. Even though your instinct will probably be to check on the status of your valuables, it’s possible the criminal could be hiding somewhere inside your home and might do something dangerous if you get too close. Do not return to your property until law enforcement arrives.
- Information is key – When you call 911, provide your name, your address, your current location, and as much information about the incident as you can. It can be really helpful to police if you have photos of your jewelry that you can share with them when they arrive – consider storing them in a folder on your smart phone or in the cloud.
- Let the officers do their jobs – Patience can be difficult when you’re scared and angry, but do your best to stay our of the authorities’ way. Once the police arrive, they will check your residence to be sure no one is inside and that the scene is safe. Then they will begin their investigation by gathering information from you and anyone else who lives with you and dusting for fingerprints, if possible. An offense report will be generated, and a detective will continue the investigation.
- An ounce of prevention – Naturally, most thieves will target places that appear to have the least protection, so do what you can to make your home unappealing to criminals. Posting signs for your home security company, having a dog, or even creating the illusion that you have a dog can all be deterrents. However, these safety measures, and other security features that are less visible (cameras, long screws in the door stroke plates), are no good if a burglar does get in and is not frightened by their presence. Having an audible alarm will frighten the criminal and may attract attention from neighbors or passers-by who might be able to give information to investigators.
Keep your valuables out of sight from the exterior of the house by storing them away from windows and/or closing blinds and curtains, especially when you’re not home. Be wary of advertising any Austin jewelry you own on social media, or of announcing dates when you’ll be out of town, since thieves may view such posts as open invitations to prey on you. When you do go away from home, make arrangements with a neighbor to keep a eye on your property and have them collect your mail and newspapers or have delivery services temporarily stopped.
- Follow the news – Crime rates fluctuate in a large city such as Austin, so keep an eye on news reports of burglaries and other crimes in your area. Consider downloading a crime watch app or otherwise following crime trends.
Copeland Jewelers takes the safety of our customers and our community very seriously. We hope the above tips will keep you from ever being the target of a jewelry thief, but if such an unfortunate event does come to pass, we hope this information will provide comfort and direction during an unsettling time.