A terrified homeowner was confronted by two men who forced their way into her home and threatened her with a knife.
The woman’s horrifying ordeal only came to an end when she handed over two mobile phones and a few cigarettes to the raiders.
Police were called to the address on Alder Street in Newton-le-Willows at around 8.30pm on Monday.
One of the men forced his way into the property armed with a cosh.
Once inside he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and used it to threaten the woman into handing over cash.
However, when the woman produced two phones and cigarettes they fled on foot.
Patrols attended at the scene and detailed house-to-house inquiries were today being carried out in the area.
The house is being forensically examined and CCTV opportunities are being explored.
DC Roy Waller said: “Luckily the woman wasn’t hurt but she was, understandably, very frightened during the incident and upset once it was over.
“These men have burst into her home and I’m sure the community in Newton will agree that they urgently need to be brought to justice.
“Thankfully, incidents like this are still comparatively rare and I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to trace those responsible.
“I’d appeal to anyone who recognises the offenders’ descriptions, or who saw anything suspicious in the area on Monday night, to contact us as soon as possible.”
Detectives says the first offender, who stayed near to the front door during the incident, is described as around 5ft 6in tall, in his late teens or early 20s and of a slim build.
He had a round face which was clean-shaven and is believed to have been wearing a hooded top. He had short, light coloured hair and spoke with a local accent.
The offender who threatened the victim is also thought to be in his late teens or early 20s and around 5ft 5in tall.
He is described as slim, with short brown hair, and is thought to have been wearing a blue jacket. He is also described as having a local accent.
Witnesses should call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6811.