Woman, 65, held hostage in home

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A 65-year-old woman has today spoken of her terror at being held hostage in her own home as masked raiders ransacked it for precious jewellery.

Three men rushed passed Chucklin Li as she returned home from her takeaway business late on Saturday.

One put a hand over her mouth and told her if she was quiet she wouldn’t be hurt.

He kept watch on her in her own living room while the other two searched the home on Highbury Avenue, Layton.

When they were done, some 20 minutes later, they forced her upstairs and into the bathroom, where she was told to stay for five minutes while they made their escape in Mrs Lin’s 10-month old Mercedes.

She said: “It was petrifying. I just wanted them to take everything and go because I didn’t want them to hurt me.

“They told me as long as I give them my money and jewellery everything would be OK.

“At first I thought it was my grandson because the man was tall and had long hair, but I didn’t know what was going on. I’m worried about staying in the house now and I won’t be going home on my own now.”

Mrs Lin’s son, Pakho Li told The Gazette: “Mum has been left very shaken, frightened and mentally distressed from the whole situation.

“She’s not sleeping very well, and she is obviously very upset.”

Mr Li, 40, who lives near to his parents, said the family believed the burglars knew his mother’s movements, and may have been watching her for some time before the incident.

Mr Li said when grandmother of five Mrs Li, who is known locally as Lin, heard the front door slam she came out, had a look around the house and phoned the police.

The items stolen included two Rolex watches, two Omega watches and highly sentimental and valuable Chinese jewellery.

Det Sgt Mark Dickinson from Blackpool CID said “This was an organised and terrifying attack on a woman in her own home and I would reassure people that a thorough investigation is underway.

“I am certain the offenders will have planned and discussed the offence with others and will be trying to sell the stolen property on.”

The offenders are believed to be white and aged in their 20s or 30s. They were all dressed in dark clothing.

Anyone with information should call Lancashire police on 101.