Last weekend, my wife had her purse taken at a wedding reception. Losing her keys was the worst part; our apartment was over an hour away, and we were stranded without a car. She was also without a phone for a day, which added to the agony. Luckily, she didn’t have any credit cards or cash in her purse at the time, which really reduced our financial loss.
Have you ever had something stolen from you? What could she have done to reduce the chances of theft?
What to Do After Being Robbed
After something of yours is stolen, there are a few things you can do to try to get it back. My wife had a small camera stolen, so we checked online for people selling the same brand and model. Thieves often attempt to unload items over the internet. If you find something that you think is yours, don’t try to get it back yourself — contact the police.
Sometimes, thieves keep whatever cash they’ve stolen and discard the rest of the items. When searching for your belongings, check locations near the exit of where they were stolen.
If you have an Android phone stolen, there’s an application that will use GPS to track it. This will only work if the phone is on and has your sim card in it, so try it right after you find your phone missing.
David’s Note: iPhone has the feature built in called “Find My Phone.” I highly recommend playing around with the app while you still have your phone so you know how it works!
How to Protect Your Phone
Protecting yourself against thieves starts with what you do every day. The most important electronic item taken from my wife was her smartphone. Fortunately, she had insurance and only had to pay a fraction of the retail price to replace it. This insurance comes at a cheap monthly price and saved us a few hundred dollars when we needed it. The phone was shipped next day air, allowing her to quickly start receiving calls and messages. Getting insurance is a great idea if you have an expensive phone.
Putting a lock on your phone is another good thing to do. This is especially true if you have any personal information or saved passwords stored on your device, as the last thing you want to do is let the thief obtain sensitive information.
As mentioned above, you can also download a tracking application. Unfortunately, my wife didn’t have one of these. We called the phone a few times, but it eventually ran out of battery (or was turned off) and we knew it’d be tough to track.
If you’re on a long road trip, bring two sets of car keys. If one is stolen or misplaced, you won’t need to pay a huge fee to get a new one made from scratch. We had the good fortune of being in the same city as our parents, who generously let us borrow their car for a few days while we handled the fiasco.
Don’t carry a lot of cash. We were lucky that we didn’t have any cash stolen, as we would’ve had no way of getting it back.
Have you ever had something stolen? What do you do to keep your items safe?
David’s Note: I’ve lost my wallet plenty of times! Here are a few more tips on what to do.