JUST ASK SHANE: What Should Rural Homeowners do when Their Home - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

JUST ASK SHANE: What Should Rural Homeowners do when Their Home has been Burglarized?

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KENNEWICK, WA - All month long, we're doing a series of stories to help keep you and your family safe, and we're using the hashtag, #StaySafe.  I got a question earlier this week from a concerned homeowner.  Jessie lives in a rural part of Benton County and sent me an email asking, "What do the police say you should do if your home has been burglarized, and officers are more than 30 minutes away from where you live?"

Jessie, I talked with Benton County Sheriff's Lieutenant Steve Caughey about your concern.  He brought up two possible scenarios.  First, if you're at home and someone is trying to break into your home, the first thing you should do is call 911, tell the dispatcher what's going on, and then find a place of safety until officers arrive.

Caughey says a more likely scenario would be to come home from work and find that your house has been burglarized earlier in the day.

"If they come home and they find their house has been broken into, probably the best option for them is to call 911, state what they have going on, then let us respond, and for them to not go inside.  They should go to a place of safety so we can respond and then we can go from there," Lt. Caughey said.

Caughey suggests staying out of the home because that will allow officers to go inside, make sure the scene is secure, and then begin their investigation.  If you go inside before officers arrive, you could accidentally tamper with or destroy evidence that could help detectives find the people responsible.

Remember, if you've got a question about something going on in our community... send it my way.  You can reach me in the newsroom at (509) 737-6738, or send me an email at JustAskShane@nbcrightnow.com