A distraught father has told how four masked burglars burst into his home and threatened to kill his toddler son if he moved a muscle.
The nightmare began on Friday evening in Heelands, when the family noticed the garden security light coming on while they were watching TV in their living room.
“My 20-month-old son was on my lap on the sofa and my sister and her children were visiting. My father, who is 88, was sleeping upstairs and my wife was in the bathroom,” said the victim.
“Before I could look out to see why the garden light was on, these men walked into my house. Their faces were covered and were carrying screwdrivers and iron bars.
“One of them came right up to me, hit me on the head four times and said: ‘If you move you and your child are going to be killed.’ I cannot tell you how scared I was.”
Two of the masked men went upstairs and dragged down the elderly father, who suffers from dementia. They also broke the bathroom door down and dragged out the victim’s terrified wife.
They ordered the stunned family, which included a boy of 14 and a girl of 11, to stay still and quiet, threatening to hit them if they moved.
“They started to rip our jewellery from us. They tore two gold chains from round my neck and pulled off my sister’s rings. We couldn’t do anything to stop them,” said the man.
They sat helplessly as the men, who all had Eastern European accents, ransacked the upstairs of the Bleasedale house, ripping a small safe from the wall and searching for jewellery.
Finally they left with their spoils, which included cash, jewellery and family documents, possibly driving off in a light coloured saloon car. Their parting shot was to take the victim’s glasses from him and smash them so he was unable to see.
“I ran out in the road screaming after them, but couldn’t see anything because of my glasses,” said the man.
Police are now trying to trace the culprits and have appealed urgently for witnesses to call them on 101.
Meanwhile the man took his wife and child to stay with friends because they were too scared to go back in the trashed house.
“I’ve lived here for 13 years. It’s always been a lovely area and we’ve never had problems. Now we are considering moving away. My wife is terrified to be here alone with our child while I am at work,” said the victim, who runs a market shop business.