Three men have been arrested following a terrifying armed raid in which a mum and her two young sons were tied up and threatened with a sledgehammer.
Four men burst into the semi-detached house on Halfpenny Lane in Longridge, near Preston, and threatened the woman and her two boys, aged eight and 10.
They tied the frightened family up with dressing gown cords and punched the woman in the face, before ransacking their home. The thieves then made off with a number of guns and ammunition.
The couple living in the house have been named locally as Kelvin and Caroline Corsbie.
It is believed Mr Corsbie is a poultry and game dealer.
Last night, three men aged 23, 24 and 34, all from the Preston area, were all in police custody in connection with the raid.
Community leaders today spoke of their shock at the incident on a quiet rural road.
Coun Lona Smith, who represents Preston Rural North, described the incident as “horrible”.
She added: “I am absolutely shocked to hear that such a violent crime has happened in an otherwise quiet area.”
Yesterday afternoon, the curtains were drawn and the gates to the house were locked.
A sign remained at the front of the property advertising pheasants, wild duck and partridge.
Coun Ken Hudson said: “It’s very worrying for other residents that we’ve got a situation where a mother and two children are being tied up and threatened.
“We hope that the full weight of the law comes down on whoever did it.
“It is a disaster for the area. Everybody needs to be very, very vigilant.”
After the robbery, which happened at around 5.30pm on Tuesday night, the culprits, who are also believed to have been armed with knives, made off in a white Ford Transit van with a number of firearms including a pump-action shot-gun, a deer rifle and a foxing rifle as well as ammunition.
The firearms had been in a safe.
Det Insp Paddy O’Neill, of Preston police, said: “This must have been extremely traumatic for the family involved and thankfully they were not seriously hurt.
“I would appeal for anyone with any information to get in touch with us as a matter of urgency.”
• Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting log number 0974 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.