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  1. ITV Report

Masked men steal cash and jewellery from woman praying in her Durham home

The intruders threatened the terrified woman and demanded the jewellery she was wearing. Photo: PA

Masked men stole cash and jewellery after smashing their way into a County Durham house, robbing a woman as she prayed in her bedroom.

Four men, who were all armed, smashed the glass on a patio door and broke into the property in Westhouse Avenue, Durham, at around 7pm on Friday 15, February.

The burglars, who were all masked and wearing black, then went upstairs to a bedroom and confronted a woman who was alone in the property at the time.

The intruders threatened the terrified woman and demanded the jewellery she was wearing.

They then ordered her to look away as they ransacked the room, taking more jewellery and a substantial amount of cash.

They then made their way downstairs and came face-to-face with the woman’s adult son as he returned home through the front door.

One of the suspects threatened the man with a knife, before all four escaped on foot in an unknown direction.

Both victims were physically unharmed, but have been left distressed by the incident.

Police are making house-to-house inquiries in the area and crime scene investigation teams have carried out a forensic examination at the house.

Four men, who were all armed, smashed the glass on a patio door and broke into the property in Westhouse Avenue. Credit: ITV News

Detective constable Laura Douglas, who is leading the investigation, is appealing for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

She said: “This has clearly been a terrifying ordeal for the victim, who was alone at home praying when four masked men broke into her home and threatened her.

“We feel sure that this was a targeted attack and there is no reason for the wider public to be alarmed.

“If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area on Friday evening, particularly if they saw four men either on foot or getting into a vehicle, we would urge them to come forward as quickly as possible”.

The intruders threatened the terrified woman and demanded the jewellery she was wearing. Credit: ITV News