A burglary is a violation of your personal space and can be a very scary, traumatic experience for homeowners and their families. If you’ve become a victim, it may take some time to recover, but here are some steps to quicken the process.

1. Leave the house, call 9-1-1, and don’t touch anything. Don’t look for the perpetrator and don’t start cleaning up. Leave the scene until the police arrive and can protect you, your family and any evidence that may have been left behind!

2. Talk to your neighbors. Ask if they saw anything strange and alert them that a vandal is on the loose.

3. Call your insurance company. Hopefully, you have homeowners or renters insurance. This may be the only way you will get financial compensation for your stolen goods. A good practice is to keep pictures of anything of value that you own, and receipts for large purchases.

4. Search local pawn shops or local Internet classifieds. This is where those pictures and receipts come in especially handy. Most, if not all states require ID when trading items for cash at a pawn shop. Any pawn shop will gladly return all stolen goods proven to be yours if provided with a police report. Be sure to check pawn shops and classifieds because you never know what things of yours might pop up!