WHEN a burglar broke into Gladys Teis' South Toowoomba home in the early hours of Wednesday morning, he probably thought he had an easy mark.
Now the clock is ticking towards his next court date and 85-year-old Mrs Teis has proven crime never pays.
Mrs Teis and her husband Roy, 97, had been sound asleep when a man wearing a cap forced his way into their South Toowoomba home, intent on stealing anything he could.
He had already emptied the house of jewellery and sentimental items, including a prized violin and saxophone, before he returned to take the grandfather clock at the front door.
That was the final straw for Mrs Teis who acted on instinct and fought her young intruder - and won.
"I just said, 'you're not taking that', then I just grabbed hold of it and kept pulling at it," Mrs Teis said.
"I got the clock back off him and as he then opened the screen door, he clobbered me with his torch."
Mrs Teis suffered a busted lip and a cut to her arm but still declined to be taken to hospital.
Still slightly shaken by the frightening incident yesterday, Mrs Teis said her instinctive actions fighting off her intruder were "probably a bit silly".
She said the true heroes were the police and detectives who arrived "in no time".
"They were wonderful and were here in no time, going up and down the street, finding things out," she said.
Police investigations have allegedly linked the offender to a incident in Harlaxton on Wednesday morning, which ultimately ended with a car torn in two in a crash on the Warrego Hwy at Plainland that afternoon.
Detectives recovered the stolen items at a Harlaxton home, and three people have been charged.
It was swift justice and an investigation Mrs Teis said was handled with professionalism and compassion.
"They were very nice about it - they couldn't do enough," she said.
"Almost in tears, some of them were."
The intruder got away with about $90 in cash and sentimental family heirlooms including her mother's engagement and wedding rings, and her own wedding ring.
Mrs Teis had called 000 after beating back the intruder and it wasn't long until her son Ray Giles arrived at her home.
He said his concern was lessened after seeing the hardened detectives and general duties police comforting his parents.
"They were here consoling mum and had genuine heartfelt grief for what had happened, and the paramedics were the same," Mr Giles said.
"The same officers that were here consoling her were searching the property diligently, even opening the door for mum and wishing her well on the way to the doctors.
"The same detectives I saw later on chasing in the news, doing their job as hard as they do, the same detectives with dirt on their shirts and sweat on their brow, took the time to come back in and say they had tracked down the offenders and tracked down the property.
"I'd just like to say a very warm thank you to all those police officers."
Mrs Teis had a few words for the offender: "Cowardice. No courage in it at all."