After noticing a break-in to your home, you are probably very confused thinking you did everything necessary to make your house a safe haven. You want to feel safe again after such a violation, so these steps will help you get your life back on track.
1 - Don't wait to call the cops.
If you notice tampering to your property, but aren't sure if you've been burglarized, it is still wise to get to a safe location and call 911. You should not enter the home if you think it has been burglarized, even if you don't think the burglar is still on the premises. You never know what evidence your presence could change since your home is now the scene of a crime. Instead, use your cell phone or a neighbor's phone.
2 - Don't touch anything.
Evidence, including DNA and fingerprints, could be lurking in your home. Preservation of such material is essential and could help nab a suspect. At this time, it is also wise to start thinking of potential suspects with these questions:
Who has been in your house recently? If your home was serviced by a technician, contractor, plumber, etc., they could have accidentally broken or moved some things.
Who knew you were going to be gone? According to NetSecurity.com, you should never post on social media when you'll be absent from your home. Check your computer and your children's devices to see if anyone had access to your vacation plans.
3 - Take inventory of everything stolen.
This is a good time to start monitoring pawnshops and local sales online on websites. You should also make a detailed list of everything missing from your home to give to the police.
4 - Take additional steps to secure your home and prepare for the future.
Check each room in your house for open, unlocked windows and a lack of screens. If your window was the point of entry for a burglar, it may be time to consider stronger windows (with solid locks) and new screens. You should consider adding additional security to your garage or perhaps even install new doors. You can also purchase a new security alarm or change your locks in case the burglar has a key. If all else fails, a video camera monitoring or thermal infrared camera system is a deterrent and a helpful tool. And, security cameras will make it that much easier to catch a suspect should your home be at risk for another break-in.
Lastly, make sure you have renter's or home insurance that covers expensive items, like electronics. Whether or not you do have insurance, ensure that you have taken photos or have saved receipts of all your significant belongings. Additionally, write down serial numbers for all electronics.