This is the moment a terrified mother pleads for her child’s life as masked machete-wielding thugs ransack their home.
The woman, 39, begged the five-strong gang to spare her eldest son as he was dragged from room to room at knifepoint.
Moments earlier one of the gang had pressed a blade to her neck and demanded passwords to disable trackers on smartphones and tablets, threatening: “We will kill her.”
CCTV at their home in Ilford captured a man in a balaclava and goggles breaking through the front door before signaling the others to follow. The men, dressed in black, burst in and in three minutes steal £800 in cash, gold and laptops, and keys to a Range Rover.
Today the mother-of-three told the Standard: “They were armed to the teeth.” Her teenage daughter locked herself in the bathroom and could hear her mother’s screams during the raid at 6.30pm last Thursday. She said: “It was like being in a horror movie
“My hand was shaking so much I couldn’t call the police. I was panicking but got hold of an aunt who got the police. They were carrying two machetes each. To scare mum they cut my brother in the face. She saw he was hurt and gave over everything she had.”
The family’s other son, aged 11, hid under the dining room table and waited for the burglars to go upstairs before escaping to warn his father, who was returning from the shops. The boy said: “They couldn’t find me because it was dark. I saw them go upstairs and saw my dad outside so I just went for it.
“Neighbours were running out of their houses to help and police were here very quickly. My dad says I should get a bravery medal.” A lookout posted outside threatened the father and alerted his accomplices, who jumped in two getaway vehicles and sped off.
The 17-year-old son who was threatened needed stitches to a gash on his forehead. His mother, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals, said the family had upgraded their security “I don’t care about what they took, just as long as my family is safe. We lost a lot of pictures on the computers that we can’t get back, but we don’t need anything else,” she said.
“Crime is getting worse and worse round here — we don’t feel safe, but when they realised what was happening our whole neighborhood came out. That must have scared them off. Everyone is stopping on the street to see if we’re ok, but it’s been very difficult.”
Dc Jonathan Lam, of East Area Command Unit, said: “This was a vicious aggravated burglary that left a family traumatised.” The gang, two white men and three black, fled in a white Toyota pick-up truck and silver Ford C-Max.
There have been no arrests.