A 78-year-old Leyland woman has spoken about the terrifying moment she woke in the early hours to find three men burgling her home.
It comes as crimefighters issued a warning about a spike in burglaries in the area - with raiders even using cat flaps to get into properties.
Shocked Jean Allsop has lived in her Broadfield property for 25 years.
She was asleep in bed when she was awakened to find two men standing in the hallway.Upon seeing her, the two intruders quickly ran from the address
followed by a third male who emerged from the bedroom.
Among other items, the opportunistic offenders stole a set of keys for Jean’s house and vehicle.
Jean, who had left her front door unlocked that night, said: “I woke around 1 am to find two men standing in my hallway.
“I first thought it was my niece’s husband and then when the way saw me they ran off and a third male ran out from the bedroom and they all quickly left.
“I rang the police straight away because thought that the men may go and target someone else.
“The response was very good and they came pretty much straight away.
“I was shocked at first to think that strangers have been in my house.
“I think I may have left the front door open but I was relieved that the men quickly left.”
Jean normally lives alone, but had relatives visiting at the time.
When she was awoken by noises she initially thought it was just them returning home.
She said: “I changed my locks that day.
“It has made me much more wary and I had the added worry of replacing my car keys too.
“It has made me more careful.
“I have to check the doors are locked continuously.
“I feel annoyed that it has happened to me, but I do check the doors more often now.
“It has made my neighbours more aware too.
“The neighbours are all looking out for each other.”
The police investigation into the incident is on-going.
Lancashire Police have urged residents in South Ribble and Chorley to keep themselves and their property safe following a rise in burglaries in the area.
PC Emma Devereux, from the South Ribble Neighbourhood Policing Team, revealed: “There have been over 400 burglaries across the area since January and many of these were preventable.
“In thirty eight per cent of those cases the offender or offenders managed to gain access to the property because it was insecure, either because someone had left a window open or a door unlocked.
“We’ve even had cases where an offender has gained access by reaching through a cat flap and opening the door using keys that the resident has left in the lock”.
Residents have been told to make sure their doors and windows are closed and locked, particularly when they are leaving the house empty but also when they’re at home.
They also want to remind residents to lock garden sheds, garages and their vehicles.
PC Devereux said: “It only takes a minute to check your windows and doors and that minute could save you the heartache and hassle of having your home burgled.”