Published: 13:00, 30 July 2015
| Updated: 13:42, 30 July 2015
An elderly woman was the subject of a vicious attack as two men forced their way into her East Peckham home in an attempted robbery.
The victim, aged in her 70s, was pushed onto her sofa before one of the offenders attempted to silence her by taping her mouth shut.
The two men, disguised in balaclavas, entered the home in Addlestead Road through the back door at about 8.20am on Tuesday, July 28, demanding money.
The pensioner insisted she had no money on her, but the raiders still searched through her belongings.
After failing to silence the victim, the men eventually fled empty-handed, using a light-coloured Ford Fiesta as a getaway car.
Police were called and searched for evidence using a helicopter and dog units for several hours.
A member of the victim's family said: "They tried to tape up her mouth and intended to tape her to a chair but she struggled and gave them the impression that the police had arrived and they then ran away.
"Those responsible have subjected an elderly woman to a terrifying ordeal..." - Acting Sgt Stephen Smith
"She is very frail and recently widowed. She is understandably shaken up but the actuality of events probably won't hit home for a while.
"She is bowled over by the support of her neighbours and the work of the emergency services."
Detectives have since launched an appeal for witnesses to come forward.
The men were wearing heavy boots and one is said to be around 5ft 6, while the other was about 6ft.
Acting Sergeant Stephen Smith said : "Those responsible have subjected an elderly woman to a terrifying ordeal.
"They have rifled through her belongings and caused a great amount of distress to the victim, who had been in a bathroom when they entered the property.
"I would like to reassure residents that we are treating this as an isolated incident and that this type of crime is very rare in Kent. If you have think you may have any information don’t hesitate to call."
Witnesses are asked to call 01622 604100, quoting reference YY/014950/15.
Stories you might have missed