Imagine that you come home from a nice dinner with your family. You are all in a great mood, having enjoyed a fantastic meal with excellent company. You don't think that anything could shake your happy disposition. And then you see your front door. It has been kicked in and glass is shattered all across your front porch. Your pleasant feelings are replaced with fear, anger and confusion. You have been burglarized. What happens now?

The first action you should take is to call the police, but do not enter your house. Stay outside just in case the burglar is still inside. You do not want to put your family or yourself into further danger by crossing the path of the burglar. He will probably do whatever he has to do to make sure he gets away. If he's armed, and he probably will be, you could get hurt or even killed in the process. Call the police from your car or from a neighbor's house.

Until the police turn the house back over to you, do not go through your things. You want to leave the crime scene as intact as possible, which will help the police catch the perpetrator. Once you are given the okay to return to your house, make a list of all the items that were stolen or damaged. You will need this for insurance purposes as well as for evidence for the police. Hopefully, you had taken inventory of all your belongings before the burglary as part of your overall home security system plan, but if you didn't, be sure to include monetary values to all items placed on your list. If you have pictures of these items, include them with your list.

Think about the past few weeks and consider any suspicious behavior you might have encountered that could have contributed to your house having been chosen by the burglar. Give all information you have to the police to assist in their investigation. Even if you think it doesn't have any significance, still report your thoughts to the authorities just in case. You never know, it could be the piece of information that breaks the case.

Install a home security system if you don't already have one. This is the one action you can take to restore your peace of mind and ensure that if the burglar tries to come back that you don't become a victim again.

John is a shrewd consumer who writes about personal finance, home technology and home security topics like: security alarm Chicago and San Francisco security system reviews.
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