A family hid in a garden shed while masked men carrying machetes ransacked their Dunstable home.
Five men, with baseball bats and machetes, turned up at the house in The Avenue at around 6pm on Friday, pulling their car into the drive and then banging on the door.
They were spotted through the window by a 16-year-old in the house who then warned her mum and older brother.
The three made their escape through the back of the house and hid in the garden shed while they called police.
A family member believes the robbers thought the house was empty after they had possibly watched two people leave.
“They were banging on the door and my niece noticed the weapons so they ran out into the garden,” she said.
“The gang were trying to break the front door in and then came round the back of the garden.
“They then broke in and raided the house, they were quite brazen.
“They were looking for jewellery, we believe they had metal detectors.
“It was horrific, quite horrific.”
After calling the police, the family managed to attract the attention of a neighbour who had alsation dogs.
It’s believed the dogs spooked the raiders who fled before police arrived.
A Beds police spokesman said: “We were called at 6.14pm on Friday (8 July) to reports of a break-in in progress at a property in The Avenue, Dunstable.
“Officers were immediately dispatched and arrived at the scene in approximately 10 minutes.
“The offenders had made off from the scene and nothing was stolen.
“An investigation into the aggravated burglary has been launched and the victims, along with neighbouring properties, are to be revisited as part of Operation Cocoon, a reassurance and crime prevention initiative launched following a burglary.
“One of the offenders is described as a white man, wearing a white shirt, blue trousers and a blue baseball.
“The second male was wearing a mask. It is believed they travelled in a dark grey Volkswagen Golf.
“Officers are keen to speak to anyone who saw men or a car matching the descriptions given, or witnessed any suspicious activity in the area at this time.”
n Please call 101 quoting the reference JD/27256/2016 with information. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.