It was a night Clare Houston will never forget. 

Just after 8 p.m. on January 8, officers responded to Wyndham Oaks Drive for a breaking and entering call. But before they got there, Clare came within a few feet of a man that made it past her security system.    

"I was shaking so bad," she said. "I’m a heavy believer in the Lord, I kept saying, 'Keep me safe, keep me safe.'”

Clare’s husband was out of town and she was the only one home, asleep, when she heard what sounded like a knock at her door. Thinking it was a delivery man, she didn’t answer.

“Then just about 10 more minutes [later] I heard something loud at the back of my house," Clare said. 

Moments later she realized someone was inside her house.

“I was hearing steps downstairs," she said. 

At first, Clare thought maybe it was her son, but it wasn't. She says she got nervous and scared. 

Clare reached for the phone as the intruder continued to wander through her house.

“I called 911 and was whispering and could hear someone in the house,” she said. 

The next thing Clare knew, the intruder was coming up the steps. Panicked, she wondered what to do next. She couldn't figure out why her alarm didn't go off -- and then it did.  

The startled intruder retreated. 

By the time officers got to the house and checked everywhere for any sign of the burglar, they concluded he must have escaped into the woods.

Clare's husband, Wayne, rushed back to Charlotte. He's happy his wife was okay but not thrilled with the delay in his alarm system. 

"I'm going to have the alarm guys come out here and check my sensors," he said.