Detectives are hunting a burglar who held a knife to a 15-month-old baby before stealing cash and jewellery.
The tattooed thug struck in Harlington Road, Uxbridge on Friday, October 31, tying up the little girl’s mother and demanding: “Where’s the jewellery?”
Hillingdon CID officers are now determined to catch the man – and an accomplice who joined him in the traumatised family’s home – before they strike again.
Police say the Halloween horror began at at about 5pm, when the 31-year-old woman answered a knock at the door.
A man wearing a high-visibility jacket and with a lanyard around his neck, which made the victim believe he was a genuine caller, said he was a meter reader. The mum showed him where the meters were kept in a cupboard. But as she went into the kitchen she heard her 15-month-old daughter scream, and turning around saw the man holding a knife to the baby’s throat.
He then said to the woman: “Where is the jewellery?”
The suspect then bound the mother’s wrists and ankles and put her and her daughter into the bathroom. At that point, say police, a female accomplice came into the house and they began a search, eventually making off with a quantity of jewellery.
The mother and daughter were found by neighbours about 50 minutes later, after the woman's husband asked them to check on her as he could not get through on the phone.
Paramedics checked the pair and they did not need to go to hospital.
Hillingdon Police have now said they urgently want to find the callous burglars.
The man was white, aged in his early 30s and approximately 5ft 10ins tall, with a goatee beard and a neck tattoo, and spoke with a local accent. He was wearing a blue-coloured fleece with a short sleeved, high-visibility jacket, dark trousers, black shoes and a woolly hat.
There is no description of his female accomplice, who was not seen by the victims.
Detective Constable Anji Dawson of Hillingdon Police, who is leading the investigation, said: "This was a terrifying burglary which has left the mother of a very young child extremely shaken. I would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or has information on what happened to come forward as soon as possible.
"We know our male suspect was joined by a female once he had put the mother and daughter in the bathroom. The victim did not see his female accomplice, but she did hear her. This woman must have been waiting close by, and may well have been seen by someone in the street."
She said because of the date and time – Halloween night, when many children and their parents would have been out involved in trick-or-treat fun – officers hope someone saw something that would help them.
If you have any information, call DC Dawson at Hillingdon police station on 020 8246 1529. If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In an unrelated case an armed trio who raided flat while woman was inside have been given get lengthy jail sentence.