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AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney
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We were not in our home the time the robbery took place...and

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We were not in our home the time the robbery took place...and live in a gated community.
Our alarm sounded at 3:00am, the alarm company contacted us to see if they should dispatch the police. We said they should as the house was empty.
The police were dispatched, but failed to see that they house had been burglarize (the back window to our bedroom had been smashed). The deputed reported that he saw nothing.
All of our jewelry has been taken.
Perhaps had the police noticed there had been a break-in, they may have caught the culprit in the act or upon leaving our home.
Is there anything that we can do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
Unfortunately, law enforcement does not have a legal duty to any individual in the community. I realize that this is unfair and counter-intuitive. However, this is a well-established legal principle. The law works this way because, if law enforcement was liable for every mistake it made in its professional capacity, the government would be so smothered with lawsuits and the related costs that the administration of government would become impossible. Therefore, the state is not liable for an officer's failure to fully or properly investigate, though a citizen harmed by such a failure may wish to file a complaint with law enforcement. In any case, if a burglary has taken place and if law enforcement has not examined the scene, an individual should report the matter to law enforcement so that officers can review the matter and evaluate any evidence that may be present.
If a criminal can be located or identified, the criminal can also be civilly liable for a burglary. However, if he cannot, the state is not liable. Homeowner's insurance may provide some compensation for a victim of a burglary. Alternatively, some regions have a Victim's Compensation Fund and a victim may wish to inquire with law enforcement to see if such a service is available.
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