A KENLEY couple have spoken of their horror after machete-wielding thugs ransacked their home and made off with thousands of pounds worth of valuables and cash during a "violent" overnight burglary.
The couple in their 50s, whose identities we agreed not to reveal, have broken their silence in the hope the ordeal will be a "wake-up call" for villagers to be vigilant.
Speaking from their Driftwood Drive home, they told how between four and five youths broke in before coming upstairs to threaten them and two friends with truncheons and a machete.
The man said: "We heard this almighty crash downstairs. I thought at first it was the mirror falling off a wall.
"But then we heard another noise, so my wife opened the bedroom door and then she was confronted with four or five blokes coming up the stairs. They were shouting, 'give us your money'.
"They came through the door and pushed my wife back into the bedroom, and they just kept on asking for money. I kept on saying there is no money.
"That's when they pushed me in the chest and they raised their truncheons. We gave them the money in my wife's purse and they took money from our friends who were in the other room.
"They didn't say they were going to kill us, but you know what is going to happen to you if you don't do what they say.
"My wife is very traumatised, I mean, five people with truncheons and a machete, she feels very vulnerable in her own home. We have been violated.
"It was just disproportionate violence and real aggression for what they ended up getting away with. Nothing like that really happens in Kenley, so we just hope it is a wake-up call for people."
The couple had been entertaining two friends from Kent, with all four going to bed at about 1am after a meal and drinks.
However, between one and two hours later, the thugs used a rock to smash a rear ground floor window and get in. Two threatened the man and his wife while another two threatened their friends.
The intruders, who then trashed the house during the December 15 raid, are then thought to have made off in a vehicle in the direction of Croydon, with thousands of pounds worth of valuables and cash, some of which has been recovered, including items of jewellery.
All the raiders were hooded, with scarves covering up to the bridge of their noses.
Liban Ali, 19, of Moffat Road, Thornton Heath, has been charged with aggravated burglary. Three other men have been arrested and bailed.