Woman tied up and put in bath as engagement ring stolen by burglars in Carrick
A woman who was tied up and dumped in a bath by a gang of men who broke into her Co Antrim home before fleeing with jewellery - including a new engagement ring - has hit out at the "scum" who attacked her.
The 58-year-old victim, who did not wish to be identified, managed to free herself by manoeuvring her arms - bound with cable ties behind her body - underneath herself as she lay in the bath, eventually enabling her to raise the alarm.
The woman said her shocking ordeal began close to midnight on Saturday as she was watching television alone in the living room of her Carrickfergus home, when one of the three perpetrators burst into the room having gained entry via a bedroom window.
"I was shocked but I was very, very calm," said the woman, who added that she didn't scream or call out for help. It'll hit me in a couple of weeks.
"I could just tell that they would have hurt me if I had said something.
"They were wearing masks over their faces and were dressed in dark clothes.
"One of them had a crowbar and they had the ties - they came prepared."
Branding them "scum", the woman - who shares the Paisley Road home with her fiance, who was out working at the time - revealed that their property had been previously targeted two months ago, when a sum of cash was stolen.
"I still say that it was the same ones that did it in March who were here at the weekend," she insisted.
She added that they took money and jewellery - including her engagement ring which she had owned for less than a month since her partner's proposal.
The woman stressed that she remained calm, but added that she did fear for her safety once they put her in the bath.
"I did think at that moment that they could harm me, but I managed to get my arms underneath me and bring them back in front of me.
"I listened for sounds to make sure that they were definitely gone, and I went to the kitchen to cut the ties with a knife," she explained.
Unable to locate her mobile, the woman got into her car to drive to a relative living nearby, where she was able to contact her fiance, who subsequently contacted the police.
"We've worked hard on our home, getting it done and they had no right to come in," she said. "I'm angry. They took my engagement ring and I have to say I wouldn't want it back now, given what's happened.
"I think that it's an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope to meet them one day.
"I'd love to have my day in court and see them there."
Police said the three males involved were all described as wearing dark clothing, with their faces covered and wearing gloves.
Officers are appealing to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area between 11.30pm on Saturday night and 12.30am on Sunday, or who has any information that could help the investigation, to get in touch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 69 of 27/5/18.
Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.