Victim's Guide to Break and Enter

Coming home to find your house has been broken into and your valuables gone can be heart-breaking, especially if you have lost irreplaceable items like family heirlooms. In all the upset, it can be difficult to know what to do first.

If you believe the suspect is still on the property or the crime happened within the last 15 minutes, call 9-1-1 immediately. If there is no suspect on scene and it’s been 15 minutes or more since the incident occurred, please call the non-emergency line at (604) 717-3321. For more information on non-emergency calls, visit www.nonemergency.ca.

Nothing can prepare you emotionally for this experience, but we believe that by providing you information about general police procedures and the support available to you, the process ahead may be less difficult.

In this short video, you will find out what to expect once you have reported your break-in to police.

Information to Include in Your Written Statement

A police officer may take a verbal statement from you about what has happened to include in their report. The officer may also ask for a written statement if there is a large amount of property stolen or a high likelihood that someone will be caught, such as you having a potential suspect, evidence left behind at the scene, or a suspect in police custody.

This is the information that police will need:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • contact information
  • date and time the last person left your home
  • whether the residence was secured
  • date and time you returned home
  • detailed account of the events leading up to and around the break-and-enter
  • property damage
  • any other information that will assist in the investigation, like possible suspects or suspect vehicles

After the Police Have Left

Once the police and forensic investigators have gone, you can begin the clean-up.

Instructions for Cleaning Fingerprint Powder

  • do not let children or pets near it
  • do not vacuum the powder
  • clean fingerprint powder as soon as possible to avoid spreading it throughout your home
  • use a dry paper towel to carefully remove as much of the fingerprint powder as possible
  • finish up with a window cleaning solution on paper towel
  • if there is any blood to clean, use gloves and clean it with bleach and water

Adding Stolen Property to Your Report

You can add or remove information to or from your report by:

Email: vpdtranscriptionsupport@vpd.ca

Vancouver Police Department
Transcription / CPIC Support
3585 Graveley Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 5J5

Please include:

  • your name
  • date of your report
  • VPD file number

Contacting Your Primary Investigator

Most police officers work rotating shifts, working for four days, followed by four days off, so it can sometimes take time to respond to you.

You can reach the officer by calling 3-1-1 or by email (firstname.lastname@vpd.ca).

Insurance Claims

If you will be making an insurance claim, your insurance company will need a copy of your police report.

Request a Copy of a Police Report

With your consent, your insurer can make this request on your behalf. You will need to give them your police file number.

Victim Support Services

The Vancouver Police Department Victim Services can help you in many ways:

  • emotional support

  • information on taking care of yourself to reduce the effects of trauma

  • personal and property based safety tips

  • how to access free, VPD crime prevention information and programs

  • referrals to appropriate areas of the VPD or other agencies

  • contacting the police to get an update on your file

  • information on how to recover stolen identification

  • in the rare instance that you may be required for court as a witness, Victim Services can provide you court support and orientation

VPD Victim Services

During business hours

(604) 717-2737


After hours

1 (800) 563-0808

Crime Prevention Tips

It's natural to feel unsafe in your own home following a break-in.

By taking steps to make your home more secure, it may help you to feel safer.

Block Watch

Block Watch

Consider joining Block Watch. A break-and-enter can be prevented if criminals know there are watchful neighbours.

Krenz on Krime

Block Watch Constable Dave Krenz has a video series on preventing crime in your neighbourhood.

Log It or Lose It

Log It or Lose It

The VPD has an app for logging all of your valuables. Not tech-savvy? We've got logs you can print and fill out, as well.

Learn more about the Log It or Lose It Program.

Adding Stolen Property to Your Report

You can add or remove information to or from your report by emailing:


or by mail:

Vancouver Police Department
Transcription / CPIC Support
3585 Graveley Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 5J5

Please include:

  • your name
  • date of your report
  • VPD file number

How Bad is Crime in my Neighbourhood?

Find information about the amount and types of crimes going on in your neighbourhood in these statistics and crime maps.

Are You Helping Thieves?

Are You Helping Thieves?

The VPD's "Are You Helping Thieves?" campaign aims to educate the public about simple ways to prevent crime using tongue-in-cheek examples of what NOT to do.

Take a trip through Easy Target Estates and check your knowledge of crime prevention.


Please send any feedback about this page and any changes or improvements you would like to see to Leah Marlay, our Block Watch Coordinator, at leah.marlay@vpd.ca.