A Hamilton woman says all rational thought went straight out the window went she saw a burglar sneaking out her back door in the middle of the night.

Clad in just her nightie she took off after the thief, chasing the person down her driveway in the hope of catching them.

"It was that need to protect my home outweighed any kind of logic."

The woman, who doesn't want to be identified, woke to a knock at the door of her Dinsdale home just before 4am.

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About 30 minutes later she heard a car go down a driveway, but thought it was going to her neighbour's house.

She then heard thumping noises nearby and opened her bedroom window to see a dark green station wagon parked in her driveway.

The woman, who was home alone, ran into the lounge and saw the burglar leaving carrying something under their arm through the back door of her kitchen.

Without thinking, she raced out the ranch slider door in her lounge and chased the retreating car down the driveway before it sped off.

"All rationale thought had gone out the window and I was chasing this car out my drive in my nightie."

The burglar got away and she went back inside to call police, who arrived within minutes.

The intruder, who could have been a man or woman, appears to have entered her house through the dining room window which she had left slightly ajar. A laptop that was sitting on a TV cabinet in the lounge was stolen.

The woman hoped her story would help educate other about what to do if their house was ever broken into.

"I kept going over and over I should have been faster to confront him ... I was so furious.

Police later told her blocking the exit was the worst thing to do and was the main reason people in those situations got hurt.

"I feel so lucky ... I'm just pleased I wasn't hurt. It could have been such a different story. Next time I will call 111 from my room."

Police were called to a burglary at the property just before 4.30am on Saturday and checked the area for a vehicle matching the description given by the caller, but did not locate anyone. There was no forensic evidence at the scene and it was not clear how the burglar gained entry to the property, a spokesperson said.

Police recommended that anyone who disturbs a burglar calls 111 immediately and not try to chase ot catch the offender themselves.

How to prevent burglaries:

• Close and lock windows and doors to deter burglars looking for easy access.

• Make sure you don't leave anything out that the burglar can climb on to access a window.

• Consider shifting valuable items away from windows where they can be easily seen by passers-by.

• Alarms will help discourage any burglar looking for easy entry.

• Locks on windows and doors can be effective, security signage, CCTV, alarms and sensor lights also help.