A father has told how he was held at knifepoint in his home by thieves armed with “Samurai swords” as his terrified children and their mother hid upstairs.
Six masked robbers dressed in black tracksuits are said to have held a 60cm blade to their victim’s throat after getting into the two-bedroom house through a back door.
The gang stole several hundred pounds in cash along with car keys — but no vehicle — during the burglary in Hornchurch.
The robbers fled the scene when neighbours came out of their homes after hearing shouting.
On Wednesday, the father-of-two told how he was confronted by the gang after they burst into his living room at about 3am on Monday while he was still awake.
His girlfriend and two young children were asleep but woke up and hid in an upstairs bedroom after hearing the commotion downstairs.
“They kicked down the fence in the back garden and then come in through the door,” the man told the Standard.
“There were six of them. They tried to take the cars and they held Samurai swords to my throat. You don’t want to be on your own, it’s scary.
“They were all white, they were all like teenagers, I don’t think any of them were over 20. I could just see their eyes. They had black tracksuits on, and black masks and black hoods. They were all armed.”
The mother said she hoped neighbours in the street would hand over any CCTV footage they have to police.
“They came around here, they broke in and threatened my man with Samurai swords and took cash and car keys,” she said.
“I’m scared, I’m scared for my kids. We’ve got our friends around here because we want some support because we’re scared.
“I was upstairs with the kids and they were downstairs. We were hiding.”
A neighbour said she saw the robbers flee: “Three of them were running to get into a car and then three of them were trying to take the cars. Then they all ran away ... They were running down the middle of the road because I don’t think they wanted to be caught on anyone’s CCTV outside their house.”
Scotland Yard said officers were investigating and there had been no arrests.