Armed burglars seem to be targeting elderly couples in Co Down.
Police are investigating two incidents on Monday night carried out within minutes of each other.
Five men, one armed with a screwdriver, forced their way into the property of 76-year-old Patsy Boyle and his wife Bridget (80) in Ballynahinch, Co Down, claiming to be from the LVF.
Two of the couple's sons – aged in their 40s – were also in the house at the time and were held captive in a bedroom with their parents while the thieves ransacked the house. As they made off with almost £3,000 one brazenly told their victims they were "away to count all this money".
The incident happened at 8.15pm and all of the gang covered their faces with scarves and baseball caps. One is said to have spoken with an English accent.
Yesterday, police revealed that a similar robbery was carried out on the same evening less than nine miles away. Again, a masked gang of five entered the home of a 76-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man in the Drumgooland Road area of Castlewellan.
Two men stayed with the elderly couple in the living room while the other three searched the house. They left empty handed.
SDLP councillor Ann Marie McAleenan said: "It's very disturbing to think that people are targeting the elderly."
Police are appealing for anyone with any information about the incidents to contact them on 084 5600 8000 or anonymously on 08 0055 5111.