Being the victim of a burglary can be stressful and upsetting. It can be confusing to know what to do if such an event occurs. After calling the police, it is important to write a burglary crime report that lists all of the important information surrounding the crime. A burglary crime report can be very helpful to the police when they complete their own report, and your insurance company may need the report as well. Of course, the crime report that you write should not replace the official report from the police department.
List the time and place of the burglary, even if the time is just an estimate. Include the property address where the burglary took place, and, more specifically, say which part of the property was burgled.
Mention the name and contact information of the person who discovered the burglary. Include the relationship of the person to the property--for example, this may be the property owner, a visitor or a worker. This is important so that the police or insurance agency can contact this person if more information is needed.
Describe the condition of the property when the burglary was discovered. Include the following: the time it was discovered, how it was discovered, what everything looked like and other information. Be very specific and include as many details as possible. Also, describe any damage to the property or items at the property. Include an estimated cost to repair the damage and any pre-existing damage to the property that is not related to the burglary. If there are any burglary-related injuries, be sure to mention that as well.
List the items that were taken. Include lots of detail in the list, such as the name of each item, when it was purchased, a description of the item and other information, such as serial or product numbers, if available. Also, include an estimated value for each item taken and a total value for all items.
Provide names and contact information for everyone involved and for anyone with access to the property: the property owner, other household members, all workers (if it is a business) and others. And, of course, the name and contact information of the person writing the report is needed.
Take photos of everything to include with the report. This is essential in assessing damage and providing an overall description of what happened.
Organize the report in sections according to the information in Steps 1-5. Include photos in the section where they are needed to illustrate the text. Place a heading at the top of each section so that the report is easy to read.
Write in clear, direct and professional language. Include only the facts--do your best to leave out emotion, and try not to assume or draw illogical conclusions. Do not use slang or abbreviations when writing a crime report. Be specific and include lots of detail.
Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at SaidIt.org, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.