Elderly people were threatened by masked men in two separate incidents in Bedford.
Both involved two offenders knocking on the door, pushing their way in when the call was answered and then assaulting their victims once inside the house.
The first incident happened about 9.40pm on Monday, September 1, at Harewood Road, off Mile Road in Bedford.
A 79 year old woman answered the door, finding two men outside who then forced their way in and pushed her over.
They held a knife to the victim’s throat before snatching a gold chain with a pendant from her neck.
About an hour later, a similar crime happened at Spenser Road, Bedford. Again, two masked offenders forced their way into the home of an 82 year old man.
They grabbed him around the throat, before threatening him with a knife and baseball bat.
The offenders stole electrical items and snatched a ring, necklace and watch which he was wearing. He had to be treated in hospital for minor injuries caused as they forcibly removed the jewellery items from him.
“Although the two offences are on opposite sides of town, it’s likely that they are linked because they are so similar,” said investigating officer Det Con Danny Howett, of Bedford CID.
“It’s quite rare for elderly people to be targeted violently in their own homes like this and it’s important that we find out who’s responsible so they can’t do it to anyone else.”
“I’d like to appeal for anyone who lives near to those two roads for information – did you see anyone suspicious in the area around the relevant times, or any suspicious vehicles?
“We only know at the moment that the offenders were dressed in balaclavas.
“I’d also like to remind people not to answer anyone who calls unexpectedly at your door, particularly late at night. Always keep your door locked, and if someone arrives to visit, use your security chain, spyhole or other device to ensure you are absolutely certain about who’s there before you unlock it.”
If you have information, please contact Det Con Howett directly on 01234 275347, or through the 24 hour police non-emergency number 101. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and no-one will know you called.