Police in the southern Californian town of Hemet said a woman called emergency services on Saturday morning and said she had been awakened by a man trying to remove her watch from her wrist.
The woman told police she had quickly grabbed one of her throwing axes and chased the man out of the apartment.
Police searched the area and found a man hiding behind some nearby bushes, along with property belonging to the woman.
Twenty-two-year-old Nicholas Ulloa was arrested on suspicion of burglary.
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