An 86-year-old widow woke to find two masked men stood over her bed as they raided her wardrobes and ransacked her Ilkeston home.
The pair, in balaclavas, got away with just £60 in cash after letting themselves into the disabled woman’s Cantelupe Road home after smashing a key safe open.
One of the woman’s neighbours said: “She was absolutely terrified — as anyone would be — waking up to find two men in your house.
“They went into her room and one of them turned on the light so they could see as they rifled through her stuff.
“She sat up in bed and asked who they were, one of the men just looked at her and replied ‘alright?’ then carried on searching for valuables.
“She can’t walk on her own and isn’t very mobile so couldn’t do anything but watch as they went through her stuff.
“Who could do that to an old woman in her bed?”
The victim, who does not want to be named, is now living in fear of the men returning.
She was unhurt in the incident, which happened on December 9 at just beofre 10pm, but has been in shock since.
The neighbour said: “I had a missed call from her at 10 o’clock and as soon as I saw it I knew there must have been something wrong.
“I tried to call her back and she didn’t answer so I rushed round there to find her stood shaking and crying.
“She can’t rest now because she thinks they might come back to her.
“She’s a vulnerable 86-year-old woman, who does this sort of thing? It’s just appalling.
“She’s scared in her own home.
“We keep explaining the locks have been changed and she’s safe now but I can understand she’s still concerned.
“She’s suffered from heart attacks and strokes in the past, we’re lucky that this didn’t trigger anything like that.
“The police said there had been an attempted break-in on the same night, I just hope they catch them.”
Police have issued an appeal asking for anyone who saw anything suspicious or has any information to call investigating officers on 101 or speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.