TWO terrified sisters were tied up as a masked gang raided their Wigan home.
The teenagers, the younger believed to be only 14, were bound while three men searched the house for valuables.
Fleeing with what police describe as a substantial amount of cash, they left their victims physically unharmed, but distraught.
Detectives have refused to confirm what went on in the house in Penbury Road, Whitley, but today described the robbers as “dangerous” and appealed for information leading to their capture.
They have also sought to reassure the public that such incidents are very rare. However, there have been other incidents locally in recent months, bearing similarities to this one.
In November, a schoolgirl was forced to watch as her father was tied up and beaten during a robbery in their house in Bolton Road, Stubshaw Cross.
And on December 19, a member of staff was bound as robbers raided the Rendez-Vous restaurant in Higher Green Lane, Astley.
Police say they cannot rule out links with the other incidents, but the Whitley break-in is currently being treated separately.
It took place just after midnight on New Year’s Eve, and it is believed the gang got in through the back kitchen door when the two girls were alone.
All three intruders are described as white men. The first was in his early 20s, about 6ft 1ins tall, and was wearing a balaclava and a long black-sleeved sweatshirt with the word Regatta on it. He spoke with a Wigan accent. The second was around 5ft 7ins tall, and was wearing black or grey adidas trainers with red stripes, and the third was about 6ft tall.
They fled the scene in a dark-coloured BMW.
Det Con Andy Hill, of Wigan CID, said: “I want to stress that incidents of this nature are extremely rare.
“However, just one such incident is one too many, and that is why it is so important we find these dangerous men, and lock them away for a very long time.”
Anyone with any information should call police on (0161) 856 7259 or Crimestoppers anonymously on (0800) 555111.