An armed gang stole a large amount of gold jewellery after threatening terrified residents inside their own homes.
Detectives are today hunting the gang after two separate raids on properties in Doncaster within a matter of days.
Four men with their faces covered and with one carrying a metal bar forced their way into a home in Macaulay Crescent, Armthorpe, on Thursday, November 29, at 9.30pm.
A 70-year-old man inside the house suffered minor injuries as a result of being assaulted by the men. A 63-year-old woman was not injured.
The gang then searched the house before taking a large quantity of gold jewellery.
Just days later three men approached the home of a 36-year-old woman, claiming to be from the ‘border agency.’
Two of them were carrying large screwdrivers and forced their way in.
They threatened the woman, a 56-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy if they did not hand over any valuables.
The man sustained minor injuries during the incident.
A substantial amount of gold and silver jewellery was stolen.
The incident happened on Monday, December 3, at about 7.30pm but the force has not yet confirmed where it took place.
In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said both incidents have understandably left the occupants ‘incredibly shaken’.
Detectives have not yet stated if they believe both incidents to be linked but are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, district commander for Doncaster, said: “CID officers across the district are working incredibly hard to identify the offenders involved in both incidents and it goes without saying that these incidents are priorities for us here in Doncaster.
“Already, officers have been following up a number of lines of enquiry, including examining forensic opportunities, obtaining any available CCTV footage, and carrying out house to house enquiries.
“We remain keen to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious relating to these two incidents. If you think you have any information that could help, please contact us straight away.”
He also sought to reassure residents in the area and vowed to increase patrols.
Said Chief Supt Morley: “Over the coming weeks, our local neighbourhood team will be in the area offering crime prevention advice and holding crime prevention roadshows, where people can speak to an officer and ask more about measures they can take to protect themselves and also their home.
“There will also be the opportunity to have your property marked with SmartWater technology, to make it easily identifiable and less attractive to thieves.
“I know how worrying incidents like this are and the concern it will have caused within the community but please be assured, we will keep you updated about our progress in relation to these ongoing investigations and I’d encourage anyone with concerns to come and speak to us.”
In light of these incidents, officers will be holding crime prevention meetings that are open to the public.
They are at Intake Community Centre on Tuesday, December 11, and at Town Fields Pavilion on Wednesday, December 12. Both start at 6.30pm.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to phone 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously quoting incident number 929 of 29 November 2018 or 767 of 3 December 2018.