RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) –An early morning break-in led to a frightening confrontation in Box Elder.

Authorities say the homeowner pulled out a knife and stabbed the burglar, sending the attempted thief to the hospital with serious injuries.

While South Dakota law gives you the right to protect your property in certain situations, there are safer alternatives.

When it comes to protecting your home and car, the simple answer is to just lock them up. But, you should also be careful with spare keys.

“We try telling people, lock your vehicle. Don’t leave your spare set of keys in your vehicle. Just pay attention to what’s going on, if you see something, say something, we say that all the time,” Pennington County Patrol Sergeant Gordon Larsen said.

With the recent reports of house and car break-ins and the cold weather starting to come through rapidly, the departments here in Rapid City say the best way to protect yourself from these is to lock up your doors. Also if you have the opportunity to invest in some home security cameras, that can help them identify those trying to enter.

“I think if we can all just kind of look out for each other, if we see something unusual or out of place, like people that are not normally in the area, it’s ok to address it. If you can let us know, we can address them one-on-one like unusual cars and people roaming the neighborhood,” Larsen said.

The sheriff’s office receives calls daily on these situations and often uses footage from home cameras to help in their investigations.

The Sheriff’s Department continues to remind the public that if you see something, say something.