KNIFE-WIELDING burglars threatened an elderly woman after they smashed their way into her home.
The two men, one armed with a blade, broke through patio windows at the back of a house in Southwick in the early hours of the morning.
One of the raiders threatened the terrified 60-year-old, while the second ransacked her Lichfield Road home.
They ran off after snatching an undisclosed amount of cash, and were spotted fleeing along Lichfield Road, Beaumont Street and Faber Road.
Their victim was left uninjured, but severely shaken by the break-in.
People living in the terraced street spoke of their concern for the woman, who is being comforted by friends and family.
A 33-year-old mother-of-two, who did not want to be named, said: “One of the neighbours told me what had happened.
“It’s absolutely shocking. I hope she’s alright.”
A 24-year-old man, who was visiting friends in the street, said: “I’d not heard about it, but I’m not surprised.”
The burglary happened at about 5.40am yesterday.
Detective Inspector Mark Ord, who is leading the investigation, said: “We’re carrying out initial enquiries into the incident to establish what has happened and trace those responsible.
“If anyone was in the area at 5.40am yesterday we’d urge them to contact us, as they may have information that can help with our enquiries.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Tony Carty added: “We are carrying out extensive enquiries in the area and speaking with residents.
“These kinds of incidents are not common events, and we’d like to reassure people living in the area that we are available to answer any questions people may have.”
Anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious is asked to contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
•A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary, and released on police bail pending further enquiries.