A gang of masked burglars has targeted an elderly couple in central Harrogate, threatening them with violence and tying them up in their own home - for the sake of £200 and some small pieces of jewellery.
The burglars struck on South Park Road in the town centre between 6.15pm and 7pm on Tuesday evening, breaking into the mansion house which is set slightly back from the road.
The elderly couple, aged in their 70s and 80s, were tied up by the burglars who threatened them before stealing the £200 in cash as well as a ring and a watch.
Police say the couple, who managed to untie themselves after the burglars left and call their daughter for help, were left deeply shaken by what happened.
“Fortunately, the victims in this incident were not seriously hurt, however they have been left shaken by the experience,” said Det Insp Bill Burns, of Harrogate police.
“Investigations are underway to try and identify the people responsible, and I am urging the public to get in touch if they have any information which can help our enquiries.”
Neighbours on the busy town centre street said police and paramedics were called from early evening on Tuesday, officers staying through the night.
“It’s just horrible,” they said. “You can’t imagine anything like that happening in Harrogate.”
The house remained cordoned off today (Wednesday) as crime scene investigators examined the scene, officers going door to door in the area to talk to concerned neighbours.
The couple are believed to be staying with family as investigations continue.
Police say they saw two of the three burglars, who were wearing masks and had hoods covering their faces. The third stayed hidden.
They are now appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
“If you saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the South Park Road area of Harrogate on Tuesday evening I urge you to get in touch,” said Det Insp Burns, reassuring residents that while serious, this kind of aggravated burglary is unusual in Harrogate.
“I would like to remind residents that this kind of incident is unusual in North Yorkshire but to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.”
Anyone with information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and ask for Harrogate CID.
To contact Crimestoppers anonymously, call 0800 555111 quoting reference 12150011129.