Under cover of darkness the agile thief shimmied up to the woman’s first floor balcony in the south central Swedish town.
But just as he prepared to make off with a laptop computer he realized that he was not the only person in the living room.
Jens Svensson, 37, had just finished reading a fishing magazine and put his head down for the night in the guest room when he was awoken by a scraping sound from the living room.
He jumped out of bed and went to investigate. On coming face to face with the burglar he immediately became enraged and shouted some well chosen words of warning at the hoodie-wearing impostor.
“I must have looked threatening standing there in my underpants,” he told the Östgöta Correspondenten newspaper.
With Svensson’s well-built frame weighing in at over 100 kilos (220 pounds) it is easy to understand the thief’s concern.
Eager to avoid further confrontation, he spun around and headed back towards the balcony. Placing one foot on a flower pot he leapt over the balcony railing and fell five metres to the stony ground below.
“He looked like a cat as he jumped the railing. He was very nimble,” said Svensson.
By now Svensson’s mother had woken up and she managed to talk her son out of giving chase. By the time the police arrived the thief had made good his escape.
Police spokesman Joakim Jäderstig said it was unusual for burglars to enter homes via elevated balconies. But earlier that same evening a thief had escaped from a second floor apartment in Linköping with some money and strong liquor.
“There seems to be a spiderman at large,” he told Östgöta Correspondenten.