A family whose village convenience store was raided in the early hours by a hooded gang feared at one stage the intruders may come upstairs to rob their home too.
Bipin and Leena Chande were left cowering with their 14-year-old son, who has Down’s Syndrome, while the break-in took place downstairs at their Crossroad Stores and post office, in Queniborough, at 3am on Saturday.
Up to four burglars kicked their way in through the front door and CCTV cameras captured them stealing money from the till and filling bags with cigarettes from the shelves before making off with a haul worth thousands of pounds.
Mr Chande told the Melton Times: “We heard them break in and all we could do was wait.
“We didn’t know if they were going to come upstairs as well.
“I did think about going downstairs because this business is our bread and butter.
“But you don’t know what they had got and if they had any weapons.
“It wasn’t very nice at all and none of us has had much sleep since it happened.”
The couple have run the shop for five years and have never before experienced any break-ins.
They opened the shop again later on Saturday after police officers had investigated the scene and the damage was cleaned up.
“This is a very nice village and people have been so supportive since it happened,” added Mr Chande.
“We really hope they catch these people because we wouldn’t want it to happen to someone else.”
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “We are investigating a burglary at a shop in Queniborough which happened just before 3am on Saturday.
“Two people broke into the premises and stole a quantity of cigarettes.
“Our inquiries into the incident are ongoing and anyone who witnessed the break-in or saw anything unusual in the area at around that time is asked to get in touch.”
If you have any information on this incident, call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 55511, quoting the crime number of 18*629352.