AN ELDERLY couple have been tied up and robbed in their own home in a terrifying armed raid in an upmarket South Yorkshire village.
Two masked raiders broke into a farmhouse property in picturesque semi-rural Nether Haugh, near Wentworth, Rotherham, as the couple, both in their 70s, were asleep in bed upstairs.
Two robbers, one brandishing a weapon, burst into the couple’s bedroom at 1am, yelling threats and demanding cash.
The husband and wife were then tied up while the raiders ransacked the house.
They made off with hundreds of pounds plus irreplaceable items of jewellery, including the woman’s treasured diamond engagement ring.
Just five weeks ago masked men burst into the home of another elderly South Yorkshire couple as they slept, and robbed them of their life savings. The 87-year-old man and his 89-year-old wife from Rossington, Doncaster, were left “absolutely devastated” by their ordeal on May 19.
Det Sgt Nikki Shimwell, from South Yorkshire Police, said the latest robbery, in Rotherham, was “incredibly terrifying” for the pensioners, who have been left “really distressed”.
“It’s obviously left them feeling vulnerable and thinking it’s going to happen again,” DS Shimwell said.
“The robbers tied the couple up and searched the property for money - they just ransacked it.
“We want to know in particular why they’ve targeted this place.”
The woman’s gold engagement ring was inlaid with five diamond stones, and was given to her by her husband 50 years ago when she got engaged at 21.
“She’s not had it valued for a long time but it’s of great sentimental value,” DS Shimwell said. “The fact that jewellery has been stolen has distressed her the most, because you can’t replace any of that.”
Former South Yorkshire policeman Martyn Johnson, aged 68, who lives in Wentworth, said the robbery has “frightened people to death” in the quiet area.
“You just never know what’s knocking about in the village in the middle of the night,” he said.
“It’s an isolated spot - someone must have been watching people come and go, it’s such an unusual job. These things do happen now and again but they’re extremely rare.”
One village resident told The Star: “It is frightening to think someone would come into your house like that in the early hours. It is such a sleepy village. I will be keeping my doors locked from now on.”
Another, with a young child, said: “You worry about your children and your family if people like this are about. For an older person, something like this must have been terrifying.”
And another neighbour said: “Nether Haugh is such a quiet place. The most dangerous thing here is the traffic. We don’t need dangerous people about.”
DS Shimwell added: “We want information from the public - with something like this, someone’s going to know who’s done this. The fact it’s an elderly couple will hopefully appeal to people’s better nature. Obviously they chose that particular house to burgle.”
The couple were treated by medical staff at the scene for shock, and the farmhouse was left in a ‘very untidy state’ by the robbers, DS Shimwell said.
Both robbers wore dark clothing and were white, tall and thin, with Yorkshire accents and aged in their 20s. Police are not disclosing the nature of the weapon used in the raid.
Witnesses or anyone with information about the robbery on Thursday should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 and ask for DS Shimwell, quoting reference 68 of June 23, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.