According to alarms.org, more than 2.5 million burglaries occur yearly in the United States, with 325,000 of those being home break-ins. The result? More than $14 billion dollars a year in stolen items and property damage. What makes these numbers even more startling is the time of day that break-ins typically occurred. The number is split straight down the middle, with a shocking 1,495,000 burglaries occurring in broad daylight.
Although the FBI reports that crimes like robbery are currently decreasing, falling 7.4 percent between 2018, and 2019, the sheer amount of burglaries that occur each year are of little consolation to those who’ve directly suffered a break-in.
It was a Saturday evening when it happened. My husband and I went out for an early dinner. We were only a few blocks from home and the sun hadn’t even set by the time we were done with dinner. We couldn’t have been gone for more than two hours.
We came home to find the outside porch door off the hinges and the window smashed. We knew immediately that something was very wrong.
It’s ironic: my husband and I had talked so many times about getting an alarm system. It was always there on our to-do list, albeit at the bottom of the page. It turns out that burglars actively target homes without a security system. I guess it’s pretty easy to tell if a family has one if you know what you’re looking for.
My husband wondered aloud what they took. “Probably grabbed the TV and my laptop,” he said. I knew what they took. Before we ever stepped inside, I knew that my heirloom jewelry was gone.
That Feeling of Vulnerability
A feeling of extreme vulnerability immediately set in. We had been robbed and our living space had been violated. Fortunately, we were level-headed enough to not rush inside; we called the police first.
They quickly confirmed that my prized jewelry, along with numerous other things, was missing. They took inventory of the crime scene and gathered what scant evidence they could, giving us vague reassurances that they would “do everything they could” to catch the perpetrators.
After their work was done, they left us to deal with our homeowner’s insurance and our own feeling of naked insecurity. Needless to say, I was doubtful that they’d ever be caught or that I’d ever see my great grandmother’s necklace again. That’s when a consoling friend told me about Scene Finder.
The Scene Finder Platform
The next morning, the shock and initial grief had worn off. I was on the phone telling my best friend what had happened. She knew how important that necklace was to me and my family.
“Why don’t you go on Scene Finder and see if any good Samaritans uploaded evidence of your break-in?”
“What’s Scene Finder?” I asked.
“Scene Finder is a new app that helps out people in your situation. It allows pedestrians, and passersby, people just driving by or out walking their dog, to snap quick photos and videos of accidents, incidents, and events such as home invasion using their cellphone and other devices. Then they upload their media to the Scene Finder app. If it gets matched to an insurance claim or investigation and is purchased, the good Samaritan gets a reward. Maybe you should search the website and try to locate evidence of your home being invaded. This could assist law enforcement in identifying the perpetrator and retrieving your family heirloom.”
It was worth a try. After we hung up, I immediately checked out scenefinder.com to see if some anonymous person had submitted evidence of what happened last night. Sure enough, a kind soul had!
Long story short, armed with new evidence, the police quickly tracked down the guilty party and against all odds, I got my family heirloom back. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the power of the Scene Finder platform on my side.