A woman in her 70s was confronted by a masked intruder brandishing a screwdriver during a burglarly at her west Belfast home on Thursday night.
Police are investigating an aggravated burglary after a report at around 8:30pm that the woman confronted a masked man in her home on Islandbawn Street who had forced entry causing damage to a door.
When the woman disturbed the intruder he brandished a screwdriver at her, threatened her and demanded money.
The woman tried to close a door on the suspect, but he pushed it open again. When she raised the alarm, the man finally ran off.
He is described as being around 5' 3'' tall, of a thin build, and wearing dark-coloured clothing with a black face mask and a black 'beanie' hat.
PSNI Detective Sergeant O'Flaherty said the victim was not physically injured.
"However, as you can imagine, this must have been a frightening ordeal for the victim who was confronted by a masked man in her own home who threatened her. This would have been terrifying. It was despicable," he said.
"I want to appeal to anyone who may have been on Islandbawn Street between 8:25pm and 8:35pm last night, and who noticed anything out of the ordinary, or any individuals acting suspiciously, to call our detectives at Musgrave on 101, and quote reference number 1824 of 04/03/21."
Detective Sergeant O'Flaherty said he wanted to "take this opportunity to ask people, especially those with older relatives or neighbours, to look out for each other".
"If you require further advice on home security, or any other aspect of crime prevention please ring us on 101 or check out psni.police.uk. If you are aware of suspicious activity in your neighbourhood please ring us immediately. Your call could prevent a crime," he said.