A pensioner was threatened with a cosh by two masked burglars who burst into her home.
The 60-year-old woman was alone in her home on Trawden Crescent, Ribbleton, Preston, a quiet road off Heathfield Drive on the Brookfield estate, when the two intruders - both men wearing balaclavas - burst in from her back garden and demanded money.
The traumatised pensioner, who lives alone, was repeatedly threatened with the weapon as the men stole her jewellery and ransacked her house.
They also ripped a small black safe out of a cupboard, which contained the lady’s money and some personal papers
They fled the scene on foot across the fields at the back of her home, heading towards the nearby Greenlands estate, following the burglary.
The incident happened in daylight at around 1.50pm on Tuesday, police said.
Detectives are supporting the woman, who telephoned officers immediately afterwards to report her ordeal.
They have launched an investigation and are carrying out door to door inquiries on the estate.
In particular officers are keen to trace two unusual items of jewellery stolen in the raid.
The thieves stole her gold charm bracelet, which features charms of various animals.
They also stole a distinctive gold necklace which had an unusual Buddha shaped trinket on it.
Today Det Sgt Martin Pearson, of Preston CID, said: “This was a very distressing incident for the lady, who was alone at the time, and we are treating it very seriously.
“Although she was not physically harmed, the intruders made her comply with their demands by threatening her.
“She is being supported by officers and we would appeal to anybody who knows anything abut what happened, or saw anything suspicious to contact us urgently.
He added: “We would also appeal to anybody offered the stolen items for sale to contact us.
“We are treating the incident as an aggravated burglary.
“We believe the offenders are local and believe them to be two white men in their early 20’s, though they were wearing masks.”
It is understood the men climbed over a fence at the back of the house to get in.
Anyone with information about the burglars can call Preston Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.