THREE masked offenders burst into the Burnley home of an elderly woman while she was babysitting her grandson and held them captive as they raided her house.

The resident, in her 70s, was with the 12-year-old boy in the living room of her Coleshill Avenue home when she heard a noise coming from outside of her front door and went to investigate it.

As she walked towards the front door, three burglars broke in through it.

One of the thugs grabbed the handle of a glass panelled door she was stood behind, which separated the dining room and the hallway, shutting the woman and child in the house.

The woman battled with the burglar, attempting to pull the door open, but did not have the strength to overpower him.

As she and the young boy were stuck behind the door, the other two other burglars ran upstairs, one searching the bedrooms, and the other going through the loft space.

While raiding the upper floors of the house, the burglars found a stash of money and snatched it.

They ran down the stairs and out of the front door. The other offender then released his hold over the door and followed his accomplices.

The three then got into a car and sped off down the road, turning onto Brunshaw Avenue, and then Lyndhurst Road.

All three offenders are described as white, and the burglar holding the door shut is believed to be in his late teens and around 5ft 5ins tall.

Police are now appealing for witnesses of the incident, which happened at around 8.20pm on Tuesday.

PC Phil Bewley, of Pennine Proactive Team, said: “The victim is very shaken up. This would be a horrible thing to happen to anybody, but to happen to an elderly victim like this is terrible.

“We want anybody who saw anything, or knows anything about this incident, to get in touch with us on the non-emergency number, 101.”