Police are hunting three masked robbers armed with planks of wood who attacked two elderly residents in their own home.
The men targeted a property in Bailey Rise, Peterlee at around 9pm last night.
After barging their way into the property the robbers demanded cash.
They took a number of valuables and left in a car.
The couple were left extremely shaken by the incident.
Det Insp Andy Smith, of Peterlee CID, said: “This is a sickening incident.
“This innocent couple have been targeted for no apparent reason and put through a horrific ordeal.
“I would like to reassure residents that incidents of this nature are very rare in this community and I would urge anyone who has any information to contact us immediately.”
Contact Durham Constabulary on 101 quoting log number 392 of December 1 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.