Elderly pair tell of terror at the hands of masked men in Dunmurry
An elderly couple say they fear for their safety after being threatened by two masked men in their Dunmurry home.
The robbers burst into the house in Glengoland Park on the outskirts of Belfast at 7pm on Saturday and demanded valuables from the husband and wife, who are both in their 70s.
The man does not want to be named but spoke of his shock.
"We couldn't see what they looked like," he said.
"They came in with their faces covered with hoods and balaclavas and they spoke with Belfast accents."
The men wielded a hammer but the householder added he was relieved the weapon was not used to physically hurt them.
"We're just shaken up.
"My wife's back was hurt when they dragged her across the floor and pulled her up on to the bed, but she was checked over by the ambulance staff afterwards and she's ok," he explained.
Despite their panic, the husband explained how he tried to keep calm during the robbery so the thieves would be gone sooner.
"We just did what they asked and didn't antagonise them so they would leave quickly.
"It was all over so soon. They took what they wanted and left in less than half an hour," he said.
"It wasn't worth their while for all they took - it was just a couple of pieces of jewellery.
"I have a few shillings and they weren't interested in that.
"Thankfully we haven't many Christmas presents here and they didn't touch those."
While the couple were left shaken and upset by the intrusion into their home, police are still hunting those who carried out the attack.
The victim said: "I don't know where they're from. They could be from near here but I don't want to point the finger.
"It is worrying, though, that they could be living close by."
Less than two weeks before Christmas, the house targeted by the thieves is illuminated with reindeer, sparkling lights and snowy scenes of a festive village.
"We couldn't understand why they would pick this house, it's so brightly lit up with our Christmas decorations," the pensioner said.
The Glengoland estate is a relatively affluent area on the edge of west Belfast which comes under the Lisburn Council area.
The street where the robbery happened is lined with comfortable homes, many filled with young families or by older people who have been long-term residents.
All were concerned to hear about what happened so close to their own front doors.
One neighbour said she noticed a lot of police in the area on Saturday evening and hearing about the robbery had worried her.
She said: "It terrifies the life out of you that this could happen, especially at this time of the year.
"We'd be inclined not to lock our doors but after this, not any more."
PSNI Detective Constable Sonya Hawthorne said: "I would appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to contact CID at Lisburn Police Station on the non-emergency number 101."