The Burglary section of the South Bend Police Department is comprised of investigators who handle reports of residential and commercial burglaries in the city.
They handle about 100 reported offenses per month. While most people refer to their homes as having been "robbed," an offense involving a theft within their home, garage or business is actually a burglary and not a robbery.
Most commonly, burglaries are crimes of opportunity. An open garage door, an accumulation of newspapers or darkened houses in the early evening are open invitations to a would-be burglar. If unattended, keep your garage doors closed. Have a neighbor pick up your newspapers and put a timer on an interior light if you are going to be away. And don't forget to use double key deadbolts on your exterior doors.
Remember to report all suspicious activity, and if it can be done safely, record license plates of suspicious vehicles that you may see that do not appear to "belong" in the area.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: If I report a burglary to my home or business and later find more items missing, how do I report the additional loss?
Within 7-10 days of making your report, you will receive in the mail information, or a phone call advising you of your case number and asking if there is additional information. You can list any additional loss on the card and mail it back or you can mail a separate letter to the Police Department advising of any further information or loss. Be sure to include your case number so that the information will get to the assigned detective of your case. You will also want to report this information to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Q: Can I call in the day after my report and discuss the case with the assigned detective?
No. It takes several days for your report to be processed before it is assigned to an investigator. When you do talk to the assigned detective, do not be offended if he does not immediately recall all of the details of your offense. Remember, he has a large case load and will need some minor details from you to isolate your case.
Q: How do I "press charges"?
If you are willing to "press charges" this generally refers to your willingness as a victim to prosecute the crime against the named suspect. This is generally noted in a report by the responding officer. Once your case is turned over to an investigator, you will be contacted for additional follow up. Once this is completed, your case may be turned over to the Prosecutor's Office for formal review of your case, and the Prosecutor's Office will have final review for determination of any criminal prosecution, or what actual charges, if any, may be brought against the suspect in your crime.