Night raid terror

Belle Green Lane, Ince
Belle Green Lane, Ince
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A GANG of armed thugs broke into a Wigan flat and terrorised the owner.

The five masked men forced their way into the first floor flat on Belle Green Lane in Ince shortly before midnight on March 21.

They pushed the homeowner, a 37-year-old man, to the ground as they barged in, carrying a claw hammer, a crow bar and another metal weapon.

As the victim was forced onto the sofa in his living room, one of the thieves brandished the hammer right in front of his face and demanded to know where the money was.

The other offenders ransacked the property before eventually leaving empty-handed, smashing the victim’s mobile phone before they fled.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

The offenders are described as wearing balaclavas or ski masks, dark clothing and gloves.

DC Kath Andrews said: “Unless you have been a victim of such an appalling crime, it would be impossible to understand just how frightening it can be to have masked men invade the privacy of your home and threaten you with weapons.

“It is unclear why this man was targeted and it is possible this was a case of mistaken identity.

“But regardless of that, the intent of the offenders was clear which was to cause the maximum amount of fear in order to get their hands on some cash, so we need to find these men.

“I would appeal to anyone who has information about this incident to come forward and speak to us. Perhaps you witnessed these men hanging around the flats or fleeing the scene?

“If you do know anything, we need to speak to you.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 7428 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.