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Burglars in the house: behavior tips for two scenarios

This scenario scares us all: Strange noises in the house can startle you at night. Anxious worry then increasingly becomes certainty: There is someone stranger in the house - a burglar. How should one behave now?

Under no circumstances should one seek open confrontation. Instead, the Criminal Police recommends passivity - so don't attack the criminal. If you have a burglar in your house, lock yourself and your family in one of the bedrooms and call 110. In addition, you should be vocal about yourself and turn on the light, advises the criminal investigation department.

Don't go on a course of confrontation with the burglar

The non-profit network "Home Safe", an initiative of the police authorities, warns of the dangers of a confrontation: "Do not stand in the way of the intruders!", Say the experts. "This can lead to dangerous short-circuit reactions on the part of the perpetrator."

The network also recommends making yourself loud so that the intruder realizes that he is not alone. A burglar is not interested in confronting the residents. He will run away when he notices that, contrary to expectations, someone is at home.

Don't fight burglars yourself

Instead of blocking escape routes, you should make it as easy as possible for the burglar to escape. Don't try to chase him either. Most burglars do not carry firearms with them, but they are not unarmed. The number one tool is a screwdriver, which the perpetrators use to break into unsecured windows and doors. If you corner a burglar, he could use him as a stabbing weapon.

Even experienced martial artists shouldn't try to overpower the perpetrator on their own. This is not a normal competitive situation. The perpetrator will therefore not react to his movements in the same way as an opponent would in a competition. This makes a possible fight even with experienced martial artists more difficult.

Burglar in the house: correct behavior for two scenarios

The police union's prevention portal has summarized how you should behave if you notice a burglar in your home for two different scenarios.

A burglar comes into the house while you sleep, you should therefore:

  • always have a mobile phone by the bed in case of an emergency and inform the police immediately (via police call 110)
  • Make noise and light
  • behave defensively
  • do not block the escape route for the perpetrators.

Meet a burglar in the actwhen you come home you should:

  • make yourself noticeable
  • leave the house
  • give the perpetrator the opportunity to escape
  • Behave defensively and not try to stop or attack the perpetrator
  • Memorize appearance, vehicle, direction of escape, etc., provided that this can be done without risk
  • call the police

Leave the house immediately if there are signs of a break-in

Even if you only find traces of a break-in when you return home, you should leave the house or apartment immediately and call the police via 110. On the one hand for security reasons, if the perpetrator should still be on site, on the other hand also to avoid destroying any important traces.

Mechanical safeguards can prevent break-ins

It is of course even better to prevent break-ins from the outset. In single-family houses, the perpetrators usually penetrate through unsecured doors or tilted windows. Existing windows and balcony doors can be made burglar-proof with screw-on locks or mushroom pin fittings.

In multi-family houses, the burglars usually come through the apartment door. Good door locks offer effective protection here. However, tenants are not allowed to install such security systems on their own. You have to discuss structural changes with the landlord - even if there are only minor details on the front door. In addition, explain to him that it is also an increase in the value of the apartment if the door is burglar-proof. However, you may have to dismantle the precautions when you move out.

Can I choose 110 if I suspect?

Attentive neighbors are good helpers with burglary protection. The police generally advise reporting suspicious observations. Even if this does not prevent a break-in, observation may help with the investigation. But you should always dial the nationwide emergency number 110 and not, for example, the extension of the local police station.

Calling 110 ensures that the case can be taken up immediately and that an operation can be initiated depending on the urgency. Local extensions at small police stations may not be sufficiently staffed.

Nobody has to be afraid of a false alarm. It is always better to react and, if in doubt, choose 110 - even if it turns out afterwards that it was an irrelevant observation. According to the police, the emergency number is only misused if someone deliberately dials it for no reason. "

The police advise individually and free of charge about sensible burglary protection - in many regions even directly on site in your own apartment. Many burglary protection measures are subsidized by the state through KfW grants.