ARMED robbers held a sawn-off shotgun to the head of a man during a terrifying raid on his Sheffield home before escaping with three of his rifles.
The masked men punched the 62-year-old - a member of a gun club - and frogmarched him to a cabinet in his home on Marstone Crescent, Totley, where he kept his target rifles.
The gang - of five or six men - forced him to open the locked cabinet at gunpoint before stealing the rifles - a .22 Ruger, .22 Match and a .38 Winchester.
They knocked at the front door before forcing their way inside by threatening the man with a sawn-off shotgun.
He was repeatedly punched during the ordeal and told detectives he feared for his life.
His terrified wife was kept apart from her husband during the robbery.
Detectives said three laptops -Sheffield two black HP models and a red Samsung - were also stolen by the robbers as well as a silver Tag Heuer watch and two silver Ben Bradshaw watches.
Police believe the gang knew their victim was licensed to keep target rifles locked in a specialist cabinet in his home.
They are now trying to trace the missing weapons before they have the chance to be used in other crimes.
Detective Chief Inspector Zaf Ali, responsible for overseeing robbery investigations in Sheffield, said: “This was a particularly harrowing ordeal for the family involved.
“Nobody should have to endure this kind of thing especially in their own home.”
He warned the raid could have proved fatal.
“This could have had tragic consequences - the robbers involved had a gun, which could have been loaded, we just don’t know,” added Det Chf Insp Ali.
“But it is important for us to track down the stolen weapons because any in the wrong hands could be used for any number of criminal purposes and we would not want anyone to suffer as a result of this.
“We want to hear from the public and anybody in the criminal fraternity and ask them to come forward with information.
“ We want to hear from anybody who has been offered the stolen property or even people who have bought it known it was stolen and they will be treated as sensitively as possible, bearing in mind the serious nature of this offence.”
Officers believe the armed robbers carried out a reconnaissance mission at the house before the raid at 7pm on Saturday.
A man called at the property on the quiet residential street around 90 minutes beforehand but told the owner’s son they had called at the wrong house.
Detectives want to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in Totley between 5.30pm and 7pm on Saturday.
They are also keen to hear from anyone who saw a green Hackney carriage cab or a black Vauxhall Vectra taxi in the area.
Two 24-year-old men arrested in connection with the robbery have been bailed pending further enquiries.
n Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020. Crimestoppers can also be contacted on 0800 555111.