A warning from Chula Vista police, windows left open, even on the second floor can leave your home vulnerable to burglars.
It happened to 73-year-old Ruth Clayton, a resident of Chula Vista, on Monday. She was volunteering on the police senior patrol at the time of the break-in.
The suspect reportedly hopped onto her barbeque grill and climbed in through an open bedroom window on the second floor of her home.
"I was creeped out and really scared kinda shaky," said Clayton
Ruth is proof positive that even the strongest among us, can fall victim to crime this holiday season.
Ruth Clayton is no delicate senior citizen. Besides working on the police patrol she is a volunteer for the Red Cross.
"I'm a senior citizen and I got screwed over man,” Clayton said.
She makes light of being the victim but the scare she got was no joke.
Her house was ransacked, but the only thing of real value that was reportedly stolen was her new laptop and charger.
"Someone came in and went through her home and it was just awful,” said Clayton’s next-door-neighbor, Iris Almodovar.
Almodovar was the only one home in the neighborhood at the time of the burglary, but saw and heard nothing.
“Definitely lock your bedrooms upstairs, downstairs, all your all doors,” Almodovar said.
Both Clayton and Almodovar told NBC 7 they suspect the burglars came from a nearby canyon. There are well traveled shortcuts between the neighboring middle and high schools, with easy access to Ruth's back yard.
"It's just a horrible feeling to know someone was in your bedroom and going through your stuff, throwing your personal possessions all over the floor,” Clayton said.
But Clayton got the message. It is the same message authorities are sending to all homeowners this holiday season. Lock up.
"That was the big wake-up-call to me that my second story is just as vulnerable as the downstairs,” Clayton said.
Clayton said she regrets giving away a home security device that she won in a contest just three days before the break-in.
Now she is considering a whole home security system with motion censored cameras and lights, with the intention to not be caught off-guard again.