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When Burglars Steal the Last Memories of Your Loved Ones

When someone breaks into your home, you are left feeling insecure and vulnerable. While physical items can be replaced, it’s the priceless items, like family heirlooms, that are taken that leave us feeling the worst about a break in. Burglars have no care for your personal life or the items that mean the most to you.

A recent “New York Post” article tells the heartbreaking story of a grandfather who was the victim of a home robbery. The grandfather of a six-year-old girl who was killed in the Aurora theater shootings had four cameras stolen from his home, including one with a memory card that contained over 40 pictures of his now deceased granddaughter (as seen below). The thief jimmied a window open to break in while the man and his wife were away from home. The suspect stole the camera with the valuable photos, along with other items. The grandfather desperately wants the last remaining photos and memories of his granddaughter returned.

Unfortunately, stories like this one about the man in Colorado are not uncommon. Many people lose items that are most dear to them because of a heartless and selfish thief. Sometimes these invaluable items are returned, but in most cases, they are lost forever. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your precious items that can’t be bought in a store.

1. Secure irreplaceable items. Often we take precautions to make sure valuable physical items are tucked away in a safe or securely locked up. But we don’t always do the same with our personal priceless items. For example, if you keep your photos on a camera or computer that is appealing to a burglar, make sure you do something to protect these items that you can’t replace. Make a copy of all the photos you wouldn’t want to lose and then place the originals in a safe deposit box. Or scan all of your photos and keep them on a CD or online storage service so you can recover the photos if needed.

2. Keep entry points safe. In the grandfather’s story, the thief entered through a window that wasn’t properly secured. Be sure to check on the entry points in your home, especially the vulnerable entry points, and make the necessary changes to be more secure. Make sure all windows, especially those at ground level, have working locks in place. Keep a wooden dowel in sliding doors and be sure to check on back doors and make sure they are locked up as well.

3. Check your locks. If you do have proper locks on windows and doors, do a quick check to make sure they are all working as they should. Sometimes there is a back door or a basement window that is rarely used and we forget to check the locks and make sure they are still functioning properly. Check to make sure locks work and do a test to see how difficult it would be to break through the lock. All doors should have a deadbolt in place in order to make it harder for potential burglars to get in.

4. Take security precautions. We can never be too careful. Set up a home security system, tell a neighbor when you are going to be out of town and be careful about how much information you post online, especially about your whereabouts. In today’s society, there’s no such thing as being too careful.

Don’t gamble with your most precious possessions. Take action today to keep your irreplaceable items safe and secure. What other tips do you have for keeping your belongings safe?