You feel so very violated. You arrive home after a wonderful weeklong “de-stressing” vacation, park the car in the driveway, turn the key, open the door and step inside. Suddenly you realize that something is a bit askew. Nothing is where it should be.

And then you realize it. You have been robbed.  

You don’t understand it. You stopped mail and newspaper delivery, had automatic timers placed on the lights and asked your neighbor to mow your lawn while you were gone, why did this happen? You did everything the checklist on the "Safety Tips Website"  told you to.

Most thieves are not stupid. They read the same “Safety Tips” lists that you do. They know what you are thinking. Often, modern thieves do not pick a house at random. They have been scoping out the neighborhood long before you were the chosen one and they did their research before they decided to give you the honor of their breaking into your home.

Preparing to NOT be a victim happens long before you pack the car and check the stove one last time. It happens weeks before you turn the key and lock the door.

Below are Five True Tips on How NOT To Be the Victim of A Break-In:

1.     You’re Going to Disney World and Everyone Knows It! - Let’s face it, if you are headed out on a great vacation there is a bit of joy in gloating about it on social media. And when you get there, you can’t help but post that photo of the Pina Colada by the pool or the entire clan swishing down the ski slope. But the world is watching. And thieves often track your movements long before they break into your home.

2.     Your Trash Talks – It is a good idea to break down your trash and recyclables before you put them out for pick up. High-end electronic boxes, camera cases, I-phone cartons, even retail shopping bags from Nordstrom and Bloomingdales tell tales of riches contained inside your home. Don’t advertise your bling.

3.     Security Cameras: Don’t Leave Home Without Having Them – Career thieves often state that one of the biggest deterrent to breaking into a house is outdoor and indoor security cameras. From nanny cams that are hidden in bedroom lamps to wireless outdoor surveillance systems you can find a security system that fits your budget. AND letting the thief know that your property is armed with this feature is often enough of a preventative to send them on their way.

4.     The Bedroom is Usually Their First Stop - Where do thieves head the moment they succeed in breaking into your home? The Master Bedroom. That is where the jewelry boxes reside, the extra cash is usually kept and the Canon cameras, Michael Kors handbags and Tory Burch scarves are kept. If something is truly irreplaceable to you, hide it somewhere else deep inside the house like the laundry room.

5.     We Know You Like Your Privacy BUT - Lots of lovely ornamental shrubbery, fences, privacy screens, homes that abut the woods, these are often characteristics of homes that are targeted by thieves. The first rule of being a thief is to slip in and slip out as easily as possible. Undetected. Anything that can block the view of a window or door from the street, sides or back can shield them from being detected.

It is a bit unnerving to think about someone actually invading your home while you are trying to enjoy some time away with your family. But with these 5 tips, you may save yourself from the heartache of victimization by following these simple steps.