I also once interrupted thieves in our house - actually saw their leg going out of my lounge window! Given that most thieves in SA are likely to be armed, it's not really an exaggeration to say that I could have been killed.
We've been burgled twice in Italy - first time in a rented house - and my fault since I didn't use the burglar alarm. But they only took a small amount of cash.
Here, most burglaries are at 3am!
Second time was in a different house - again my fault for not switching on the alarm!!! (Okay, so I'm a slow learner!
My wife saw a torch shining in our bedroom and screamed. I thought she was dreaming for a few seconds but she convinced me, so I used the remote control thingy to activate the alarm, waited a minute, then did a tour with my SAPL gun (french rubber bullet revolver - bought after the first burglary) and torch. They'd taken our passports and a small amount of cash.
Now we remember to switch on the burglar alarm every night.
But that is nothing to the worst moment in my life. Our two year old son, pulling his hand out of mine and running across a busy main road to my wife on the other side. Time stood still, the gap in the traffic was just long enough, a car braked, one little boy wondering why his parents were hysterical... and even ten years later the memory still terrifies me.