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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It may seem harmless to leave a window open on a cool summer night, but you may invite criminals inside.

“I felt like it was my life or his,” Ginger McQueen said after an intruder who attempted to get into her home. “I didn’t know what he was going to do to me.”

McQueen had to pepper spray a potential intruder at 3 a.m in mid-June. She has only been living there three weeks and has already had several incidents. She spent roughly the past ten years living in Fishers and has worked in health care for 25 years. But after she lost her job, she moved to her childhood neighborhood in Irvington.

“In my mindset, it was going to be, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s good to be kind of back to my roots and get back home where I grew up at,'” McQueen said. “It’s nothing close to home. It’s hell.”

Her dog alerted her that something may be wrong that night, and that’s when she saw the man banging on the door of her home. She called police before the man tried to enter a window she had left open. Thankfully, she was able to pepper spray the intruder before anything was able to happen. She said police showed up minutes later as he lay in agonizing pain.

“I had what I had at the time, but I’m better prepared moving forward,” McQueen said of her home protection. “I’m so frightened, I don’t even walk my dogs here anymore.”

Almost every night, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department posts on social media to tell people they need to remember their #9PMRoutine.

“Things like keep your lights on, change out your light bulbs, secure your vehicles,” IMPD Sgt. Grace Sibley said. “We would recommend that they secure all outward entrance, would it be windows, doors, especially if they are asleep.”

Monday night, another man was on McQueen’s porch telling a neighbor he was there to see the woman inside. When he couldn’t come up with her name, McQueen said the neighbor scared him off. IMPD suggests people get to know their neighbors, as doing so may save your life.