Detectives are appealing for information and witnesses following a violent burglary in Hornchurch.
At around 8.30pm on Saturday, 18 April, a group of suspects entered a residential address in Parkstone Avenue, Hornchurch via the back door.
The suspects let off fire extinguishers in the faces of the elderly couple who live at the address, and a weapon, possibly a screwdriver, was used to cut the hand of the male victim.
The female victim was pushed to the floor and forced to stay behind a chair as the man was questioned as to the whereabouts of any money. The suspects eventually left with a small amount of cash.
The woman was not physically injured, but the man was taken to hospital as a precaution.
There were three or four suspects, who wore gloves and had their faces covered throughout. They spoke with what may have been Eastern European accents.
There have been no arrests at this stage and initial enquiries are ongoing.
Detectives are appealing for any information that may assist their investigation.
T/DC Ciara Arthur of the East Area Burglary and Robbery Investigation Team said: “My colleagues and I will do everything possible to catch these criminals, and I just ask everyone local to Hornchurch to think carefully about whether you saw anything suspicious on Saturday evening.
“The streets are quiet and any suspicious behaviour would have been all the more obvious. Did you see an unusual car in a residential area, a group of men hurrying or maybe gloves or some type of face covering discarded? If so, please share your information with police.
“In addition, with so few people out and about, it is all the more likely that dashcam footage or domestic security cameras may have captured images of the three or four suspects. Please do check any footage from the local area between around 8.30pm and 9.00pm.
“I would also appeal to anyone aware of associates whom they suspect of being involved in this attack; perhaps somebody local who acquired some cash on Saturday evening. If so, please give any names to police or, to remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers.
“It is despicable that these callous individuals attacked an elderly couple in their home while the vast majority of Londoners are either working hard to keep each other safe or simply isolating to protect themselves and others. We will follow any evidence and all lines of inquiry in order to put those responsible before the courts.”
Any witnesses, or anyone with information that may assist police, should call 101 quoting reference CAD 6717/18apr.