Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
A 73-year-old Dallas woman says a would-be robber fled her home after realizing she only had costume jewelry.
A retired Dallas teacher said she learned a tough lesson after a robber stormed her front door Tuesday morning.
Sarah Dews, 73, said the armed man assaulted her after realizing she didn't have any jewelry in her home near the Dallas North Tollway.
He chipped a vertebrae in her back. But what is worst is that he also shattered her trust in the goodness of others, she said.
"It makes you not want to trust anyone," Dews said. "It's just a bad way to live."
Dews said the man rang her doorbell at her home between Royal and Walnut lanes at about 9 a.m.
"I thought it may have been my handyman, and I unfortunately opened the door," she said.
The approximately 6-foot-4-inch man easily overpowered Dews when she tried to shut her door.
"He said, 'If you don't shut up, I'm going to shoot you,'" she said.
The man dragged her by her neck and wrist into her bedroom.
"I thought, 'I am either going to get killed or raped, but I've had a pretty good life,'" Dews said.
In the bedroom, the man demanded jewelry, so Dews opened a drawer with costume jewelry.
"He said, 'That's all fake,' and I said, 'I'm a retired schoolteacher. I don't have any real jewelry,'" Dews said. "He pushed me back, and I fell right here."
The man then fled, and Dews hid in her closet and dialed 911. Police called her daughter, Julie Dunham.
"This man has obviously done this before," Dunham said. "He's not a novice running into someone's house with a gun to their head."
With the help of family, Dews made several security enhancements to her home.
Dallas police said they will also keep an extra eye on the neighborhood because a neighbor reported that a suspicious person followed the neighbor home this week.