A brave 11-year-old boy escaped his home to raise the alarm that machete-wielding burglars had threatened to kill his mother.
Horrifying video footage shows the mum-of-three begging the armed gang to spare her eldest son as he was dragged from room to room at knifepoint during the raid.
Metropolitan Police says they threatened a 17-year-old resident, demanding cash and valuables, before assaulting him with the butt of a knife.
A teenager daughter in the family, who locked herself in the bathroom during the incident, told the Evening Standard : "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 aunty 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."
CCTV footage of the incident in Ilford, at around 6.25pm on Thursday (January 11) shows the youngest son running to safety.
The 11-year-old hid from the burglars under the dining room table before escaping outside - met by his dad who was returning home from shopping.
He said: "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."
One of the occupants got out and forced the front door open before signaling to the rest of the group, who then left their vehicles before all five made their way inside the property.
They are thought to be three black males and two white males, all wearing dark clothing; some wore distinctive jackets with goggles sewn into the hoods to disguise their appearance.
They stole cash and a number of electrical items before fleeing the scene.
The family has since upgraded their security, with the mum adding: “I don’t care about what they took, just as long as my family is safe."
Her 17-year-old son had to be taken to an east London hospital for an injury to his forehead that required several stitches, police said.
DC Jonathan Lam, of the East Area Command Unit, is leading the investigation.
He said: “This was a vicious aggravated burglary that left has left a family deeply traumatized by what has happened to them in their own home.
“I am urging anyone who has information on this incident to contact me so these people can be taken off the streets.”
There have been no arrests.
Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Lam directly on 07785439725, or East Area CID on 0208 345 4329 quoting reference number 5840/11Jan.
Alternatively, call 101 or tweet @MetCC, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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