A couple have been burgled by an armed man in County Durham.
During the incident, which took place at around 12.15am this morning, a man armed with what is believed to be a meat cleaver smashed the downstairs window of a house and climbed inside.
A couple, a woman aged in her 50s and a man aged in his 60s, and their teenage children were in the home in Durham Road, Bishop Auckland.
The suspect is said to have tied up the couple before leaving the house with a number of items, including a quantity of cash, Barbour jackets, and several pairs of Barbour shoes plus the couple’s Audi A1 car. The car left in the direction of Bishop Auckland Market Place.
A short time later, the Audi was found abandoned following a crash near to the Bertie clothing store in Bishop Auckland town. There had been an attempted break-in at the store in which the front window was smashed, which officers believe may be linked to the burglary on Durham Road.
Detective Inspector Paul Phillips said: “This was an extremely distressing incident for the victims who have been left shaken but thankfully uninjured.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who was in either the Durham Road or Market Place areas of Bishop Auckland in the early hours of this morning and may have seen something that could help our investigation. I would also like to hear from anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of the stolen items.
“Thankfully, incidents of this nature are extremely rare in our force area and I would like to reassure everyone that we are doing all that we can to trace the individual responsible as quickly as possible.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident reference 5 of September 27, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.