Personal theft

Has a member of your family been the victim of theft?

It can make you feel unhappy and uneasy if you think your brother or sister or another family member has been the target of a theft or robbery. It doesn't matter if they're older or younger than you, you can still help them.

If it's an ongoing problem, maybe it's part of something bigger - perhaps they're being bullied and having money or belongings stolen from them is part of how the bully is getting at them.

If you think that might be the case, take a look at our section about bullying. Either get the facts about bullying, or for more info on how you can actually help visit ‘Are you worried a member of your family is being bullied?’

If you think the theft is more of a one-off incident here's what you can do:

Reporting the theft

Having personal items stolen is serious so it's important the stolen item is reported to the police.

We will try to recover their belongings; however it is of course not always possible. If your family member has insurance, they'll almost certainly need a police crime report before the insurance company will pay out or send a replacement.

To report a theft you and the person you are helping have these options:

  • You could go to your nearest police station or speak to your Safer Schools Officer or local Safer Neighbourhoods Team. If it's an emergency dial 999.
  • Call 101 - our non-emergency phone-number.
  • Report it online on the main Metropolitan Police Service website (some items cannot be reported online, such as mobile phones, so check first)
  • If you feel unable to talk to the police, you could call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111
  • Or for more information visit our ’How to contact us’ page on this site.

Other tips for when something has been stolen

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are the most common item to be stolen. Here's what they need to do:

Advise them to call their phone service provider and report the theft as soon as they can. The service provider can stop the phone working so that the thief won't be able to use it.

If they don't have the number for the service provider, they can call the Immobilise mobile phone crime line on 08701 123 123. Immobilise will give them the right information so your family member's stolen phone can be quickly blocked across all networks in the UK, even if the SIM card has been changed.

Bank cards

Get them to contact their bank or ask an adult to help them. They need to cancel any stolen bank or credit cards as soon as they can so that they cannot be used.


Money can be very difficult to replace because there's often little way of proving it belonged to someone or how much was stolen. If it's your brother or sister who's had the money stolen and it happened at school, they should definitely tell their teacher about it, or perhaps your parents or carers. For larger amounts they should report it to the police as insurance companies may be able to replace the money.


If house keys were taken the locks on their house should to be changed even if they don't think the thief knows where they live. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Getting more help

Being robbed can be a traumatic event. If it's your brother or sister and you have a good relationship with them, talk to them about what happened or suggest to them that they call someone like ChildLine on 0800 1111.

If it's your mum or dad or other adult member of your family, they'll hopefully get support from friends, but they can also get help from the police.

For more information about personal theft visit our ‘Get the facts’ or ‘More help and advice’ pages.