ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Saved by her dogs, a St. Petersburg woman is thankful her pets scared off an intruder after he walked right into her home, according to police.
Investigators say the suspect went to three homes in a matter of minutes.
"We've lived here a long time and we've never had anything like that happen," said home and dog owner, Karen Trepanier.
She says a mystery man walked through her front door, which happened to be unlocked.
"I see some guy. He's stumbling in my door," said Trepanier. "My heart was in my throat."
Even through Karen's screaming and shouting, the bad guy didn’t get the hint.
"I was just saying, ‘Get out! Get out! What are you doing? Get out!’ just over and over," she said. "He just looked at me like, ‘What? What am I doing?’"
That is, until her two dogs, Gizmo, a cocker spaniel, and Lucy, a golden retriever, came running to the rescue.
"He went right for him, the golden retriever, she comes up behind him barking and they just stood there and barked until he left," she said.
The suspect ran off, but his night didn't end. Officials say he broke into a shed at the home right next door.
Then police say he was caught on camera at another residence, just around the corner. That's where he again tried getting in through the front door.
"If you're bold enough just to walk into somebody's house like that, no telling what he would have done," said Trepanier.
Police were called and officers arrested Ryan Trowell, but what exactly the 42-year-old was after is unclear.
As for Karen, she says her experience has left her with an important lesson: Make sure the doors are locked.
"At night time, we usually just leave them open. Not anymore," she said.