FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Fort Lauderdale Police are looking for the robber who rifled through an 91-year-old woman’s nightstand while she was sleeping, then tried to suffocate her as she cried for help.

Police say the suspect entered the home on the 1300 block of Southeast 14th Street in the early morning hours of August 24th and began rummaging through her things. The noise caused the woman to wake up and scream for help.

The suspect reportedly grabbed the woman by the neck and tried to cover her mouth to stifle her screams. The woman kicked and thrashed until the robber let her go and ran out of the home.

Neighbors say they’re not surprised the victim fought back.

“She’s a tough old lady, a really tough old lady,” said Michael Dodds. “In fact it’s only a year ago I stopped her climbing trees at Christmas time to put the lights on.”

Neighbors say the woman was a ballerina and stays in good shape. Jim Wasserman said, “She can still do pirouettes so she can probably fight these people off.”

While they’re thankful the woman is okay, neighbors are also outraged about what happened.

“It’s pathetic.. I’d lock them up for a good long time,” said Wasserman.

Dodds hopes someone will recognize the suspect. “Call the police let them know because we’ve got to get this guy off the streets,” he said.

The woman was able to give a description to police. The suspect is described as a white male in his mid to late 20′s, with short hair and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.