Family dog sees off armed gang
A family pet dog has chased masked armed men from a house during a raid, police said.
Three men burst into the house on Pepperwood Drive in Winstanley, near Wigan, Greater Manchester, around 10.25pm on Friday while the family were in the living room watching television.
The commotion caused the family dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, to attack one of the offenders and bite his leg.
The would-be thief was carrying a handgun and struck the dog, at which point the daughter of the homeowners, 22, got up to protect the animal.
The gunman then struck her several times in the head with the weapon, causing a cut that needed gluing. The dog continued to bite the offender, causing the gang to flee from the house empty-handed.
But the dog gave chase, forcing the man to drop his gun in the garden, and pulled the offender to the ground, but he was able to struggle free and ran off down a footpath.
Det Chief Insp Howard Millington of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Unless you have been through this sort of ordeal, it is impossible to know how this family is feeling having had the sanctity of their home invaded by three cowards carrying guns. To attack a defenceless young woman who was protecting her dog with a pistol is a shameful act and these men need to be caught and spend years looking at the four walls of a jail cell.
"We are conducting house-to-house inquiries in the area to try and establish the movements of these men before and after the incident, and I want to assure both the family and members of the community who will rightly be appalled that my officers will be doing all they can to find the culprits, arrest them and bring them to justice. I also want to appeal to the public to help us."
The first raider was described as white, about 5ft 7in tall and wearing a dark blue hooded top, jeans and trainers. The second was also white, in his late teens to early 20s and wearing a grey hooded top and had dark hair. The third was white and wearing a dark hooded top, light trousers and trainers. All had balaclavas.
Anyone with information is asked to call Wigan CID on 0161 856 5307, 0161 872 5050 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.