Neighbors - Home Burglars

Updated on December 09, 2011
G.V. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

Hello Parents in Cyberspace,

I am a recent homeowner (18 months). My family never owned a home, actually my family moved so much we never got to know the neighbors. Recently there has been a spring of burglars breaking into homes. My neighbor had his home broken into last night. As a neighbor, what do I do? I don't know what the etiquette is for this situation. I don't really know them to much. I know they are European and don't speak much English. We greet each other when we see each other but that's on a rare occasion. What would you do?

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So What Happened?

Thank you to those who responded. I actually installed a security system with motion detectors during the summer. We have a dog too. This is the 3rd house to get broke into this month and feel really bad. I just wanted to some tips about being neighborly. I guess to let them know we care. I had my apt broken into a few years back to I know all about the violation feeling. Thanks for the input! I think I'll bake some cookies with the kids and send them over. Thanks again!

More Answers


answers from Houston on

I would be more concerned about what to do to protect YOUR home. Motion lights outdoors, a dog, security system, a gun.
But to address the neighbor, exchange phone numbers and look out for each other, don't be strangers.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Go over; tell them you know about the break-in (how do you know, by the way? Did you see the police over there?) and you're sorry; maybe offer to help them if they intend to do something like change a lock that was broken, or fix a window. Ensure they have your phone number and you have theirs; tell them you're all in this together.

Did they call the police? Sometimes folks who don't speak much English hesitate to call the cops because they fear they can't express themselves well and explain what happened. Please be sure they did call the police and if they did not -- Immediately offer to go to the police with them and help them explain it!! The cops absolutely must know about this if they don't already and for your own sake as well as the neighbors', you must ensure the police DO know.

Meanwhile, at a minimum, get motion-sensor lights for the exterior of your own home, especially for the rear of the house, the driveway (discourages car break-ins), any dark areas around the sides of the house, etc. Invest in a burglar alarm system but if you can't afford a whole-house system tied to an on-call company, go with motion sensor lights; leave ON your front and back porch or door lights 24/7 (our cops told us to do this when there was a rash of car break-ins in our area); and get small, inexpensive door and window alarms, the kind you can stick onto the glass of a window that go off if the glass vibrates in any way.

Is there a Neighborhood Watch in your area? If not, you can found one! Go online and research the organization and most of all ask the police how to start a watch group. They often help homeowners organize them!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

I would bake some cookies or comfort food. It really sucks having your house robbed. I would ask them a bit about it like if they have any info or what we should all be looking out for. Keeping it short and quickly getting out of there hair. Also ask them if there is anything they need to borrow or they need to keep? Idk if they had insurance for this or if they are completely out of a cell phone, computer, tv what do they want/need. Even though you werernt that close before this might be the time to have a neighbors help!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't know what you can do for them. I am sure they feel violated and are upset. Since you are not very close, maybe just let them know you are thinking of them and let them know you would like to help with something if they need it.

It is the time of year for burglaries. We are in a large upscale neighborhood and there have been 5 so far this season which is very high for our neighborhood. Just last week, a mom walked out back to let the dog out while her 3 yr old was at the breakfast table and when she came back in (just a minute or two passed), she heard someone upstairs in her house. She grabbed her son, called 911 and got out. The person/persons were never caught.

My hubby is currently on a business trip in Houston and someone broke into his rental car and grabbed his briefcase, and phone charger, leaving his overnight bag but not realizing that the computer was not in the briefcase. However, his car keys, id, and our address was in the briefcase. We have the airport on alert so his Mercedes is not removed before he lands today and I am there with a spare key. Common sense tells us.... the briefcase with contents is more than likely in a dumpster somewhere since hubby is about a 4 hr drive away. But, who knows, some people are desparate and I am on a higher alert just in case.

It is very kind of you to think about your neighbors. Also be on alert for yourself. This is a time of year I am especially glad we have dogs!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

My parent's house was broken into. The neighbor's called and stopped them outside to see how they were doing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm sorry to hear this. It happened to my neighbor, and would've happened to us to if I hadn't been home at the time. Her insurance took care of the clean up (she had to have a disaster crew come in). We told her we were sorry to hear it. She gave us her contact info in case we ever see anything suspicious. She also lets us know when she's going to be out of town so we can try to keep an extra eye out.
You should take extra measures to secure your own home. If you have a fence, put a beware of dog sign on it. That usually deters people. The motion sensor lights are a good idea too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You probably have the problem solved...even if the doggy doesn't bark, which hopefully he does, the alarm system should do it! I have 3 dogs and don't need an alarm as they bark at the slightest noise outside..which is fine with me!

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