JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- A Jacksonville woman has a warning for you after a thief broke in while she was home.
The pregnant and hearing impaired woman hid in a closet while the robber rummaged through her things.
Mariah Dykes, who is five months pregnant, was outside enjoying the sunshine Monday afternoon when her hearing aid battery died.
"I never liked just letting it die," Dykes said.
So she went inside to change the batteries. In the house for just minutes she saw something out of the corner of her eye.
"I was like, 'Oh, my God. I didn't close the door,'" she said.
Seconds later someone was at the front door trying to get in.
"I grabbed the kitchen knife, and I looked into the bathroom and was like, 'It is right there,' so I went into my son's closet," Dykes said.
Dykes hid in the closet while trying to call 911.
"Being in the closet, it felt like forever," she said.
It wasn't until the third time she called for help that she was able to get someone on the phone because of problems including bad reception.
"You just want to scream, 'Help me!'" Dykes said.
Barely able to hear and not able to speak, the footsteps got closer.
"I heard him kick a toy in my son's room," Dykes said. "I was like, 'Oh, my God!'"
Whoever it was did not find Dykes, but he made off out the back door with some of her jewelry.
"He didn't do anything to me physically, but mentally, it takes a lot out of you," Dykes said.
And that's why she is pleading with you to be more careful and aware of your surroundings.
"Lock your door behind you," She said. "It doesn't matter if you forgot something in your house. Lock that door."
Dykes and her husband are looking at alternative ways to secure their home, but in the meantime she says she will always make it a point to lock the door behind her.
Dykes's husband is a Marine just up the street at Camp Lejeune. She says she always feels so protected being around him And never thought this would happen.