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While rare, home burglaries are inevitable, and can be emotionally traumatic. Beyond the physical damage and financial loss, a break-in can be scary, even if you're not at home.
Call the Cops
The sooner you can report the burglary, the better. The first hours and days after a break-in are crucial to solving the crime. Police may know of similar robberies, and there can be important evidence at your home.
To this end, try calling from your cell phone outside your house, if possible -- you might be safer outside and it will keep you from tampering with specific evidence or the crime scene generally. It's possible some valuable forensic evidence was left behind.
When completing the police report, give officers as much information as possible about your home, your belongings, and anyone who may have had access to your house. Try to remember if anyone else had a key, or if anyone else (such as repair or delivery persons) were in your home.
Also do your best to list any and all items that may have been stolen. Along with being important for insurance purposes, officers will need to know what items to keep an eye out for during their investigation
Property crimes are distressingly common. Depending on where you live, your home burglary may not be the highest priority for your local police force. While officers will do their best to solve crimes, they may not have the time or resources to crack your case.
Sometimes keeping in contact with investigators after your initial report can help, and there are some things you can do on your own as well. Checking local pawn shops and online sales sites like Craigslist and eBay for items stolen from your home is a good idea. But be warned: trying to steal your stolen property back is dangerous; you're better off contacting the police and passing on your information.
Crime happens, but if you act quickly and competently after a home burglary you may be able to minimize its impact.