How to Report Theft

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There is nothing more chilling than realizing that something has been stolen. When you discover that you are the victim of a theft, it is important to report the crime as soon as possible.

How to Report Theft

Call the police. The first thing to do is to call the police and ask them to come to the location of the crime. Remain safe, and resist the urge to attempt to apprehend the thief yourself.

Wait for the police. Once the police are on their way, wait for them. Do not disturb the scene, as the police will want to see it as you found it, and dust for prints.

Tell the police everything you know. Try to determine exactly what is missing, and provide them with a list. Also tell them anyone that may be a suspect, or any other information that you have.

Obtain a copy of the police report. The police will make a report from the information you give them. You want to have a copy of this form to submit to your insurance company if you decide to make a claim with them. You will also want to have a record of the crime.

Update the police. If you discover additional items missing, or learn new information that you did not report to the police, contact them to provide the additional information. It is essential that the police have as much information as possible, to increase the likelihood that they will apprehend the thief.


  • Do not enter your home if you believe a burglary has occurred there until the police tell you that it is OK to do so Never try to apprehend a criminal yourself, as they could be dangerous. Your safety is much more important than your possessions, and you should take great care to protect yourself.


  • It is helpful to keep an inventory of your possessions to refer to in the event of a theft You can keep a list of your valuables, or even keep photos of them. The more information that you have, the more likely you will be to recover your belongs, and to have a successful claim with your insurance company.

About the Author

K. Lynn Wallace attended the University of the Arts and University of Baltimore Law school and is now an attorney in Maryland. She has a general litigation practice and has been a writer since 2009. She has served on the editorial board of the "University of Baltimore Intellectual Property Journal."