A PENSIONER was grabbed by the throat as her home was burgled.
Police said the 81-year-old was sitting in her bungalow in Vane Street, off Seaside Lane in Easington Colliery, when she was confronted by a man wearing a dark hooded top who had walked through her unlocked door.
It is claimed he demanded money before grabbing her around the throat, leaving her with severe bruising, then snatched a lilac-coloured wooden box which contained costume jewellery.
Police have since recovered the box and some of the contents, although a number of items are still missing.
Detective Sergeant Steve Thubron, of Peterlee CID, said: “This was a shocking and sickening incident.
“While crimes like this are extremely rare they are enormously distressing for those involved, and while the victim in this case has not been badly hurt she has been left extremely shaken.”
The attack happened at 7pm on Thursday.
Police think the burglar may have tried to dispose of the stolen goods almost straight away and are keen to hear from anyone in the area who might have been offered items of jewellery during that same evening.
A 42-year-old man, who lives nearby, has been arrested on suspicion of assault and burglary and has been questioned at Peterlee police station.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.