A GLADSTONE detective has praised the smart thinking of a woman the day before her 18th birthday for spraying an intruder in the face with air freshener.

Police are now hunting the man who broke into the Gladstone home on Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning at about 3am, a man reportedly broke into the William St unit through the front door and was met by the woman and another 23-year-old man.

A struggle broke out between the two men, until the resident fell on the ground and was then hit in the leg with a crowbar.

"Fortunately the female had the sense and grabbed an air freshener and sprayed the offender in the eyes," Gladstone

Criminal Investigation Branch detective senior sergeant Luke Peachey said.

Another struggle broke out when the resident, with a broken leg, jumped on the back of the intruder.

The offender shook the man off his back and then ran out of the house.

Det Snr Sgt Peachey said he was unsure whether the offender was carrying the crowbar to break into the house or to use as a weapon.

"The fact he has used that and struck that person with that with some force to break the leg is concerning," he said.

The police have the crowbar, beanie and balaclava and will be running its forensics team over them.

It is believed the offender is in his 40s, 177cm tall and has sandy coloured hair.

Anyone with any information should call Gladstone Police Station on 4971 3222 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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