A YOUNG couple are in shock after masked thieves, armed with crowbars and other weaponry, broke into their home in an attempted dawn raid.

Two men wearing balaclavas broke open Jacob Thompson’s front door in St Peter’s just after 5am on Tuesday but he and his fiancée were able to scare them away.

The 24-year-old believes the thwarted burglars were after the keys to his Mini and described how he looked into the eyes of one of the them for around 30 seconds.

He said: “We just woke up to noise and they’ve cracked their way in, wearing balaclavas.

“Both of us were woken up – I just rang the police straight away, but she banged on the window.

“Between us both doing that I think we’ve just scared them off. They had a car sat waiting there on the corner and sped off.”

Mr Thompson, who identified the getaway car as a blue 68-reg SEAT Leon, said the “only logical” reason he could think of for the break-in was they wanted his car keys.

“I don’t think they set foot in [the house] because we managed to disturb them but I’m just more concerned about our safety to be honest, I was more worried about that,” he continued.

“They’ve used crow-bars, and both had weapons of some description, metal poles or something. I don’t know what they would have done.”

Mr Thompson lives with his partner, aged 25, in Stroma Avenue, but she did not wish to be named.

He said the couple had both been frightened by the attempted break-in, adding: “We’re both scared, we’re both worried – it’s horrible isn’t it, it’s our house. I can’t really describe how I feel to be honest.”

He said the attempted break-in has left him paranoid and on edge.

“That’s the scary thing, once something like this happens you start thinking who’s that? You don’t trust anyone,” he continued.

The house is on the junction with Farne Avenue, where the thieves had apparently left their car, before they sped off past the junction with Bala Way towards St Peter’s Drive.

Mr Thompson is appealing for anyone in the area with CCTV to check if they have any footage of the incident or of the getaway car.

He and his partner watched the scene from their first floor bedroom window, where they were able to disturb the culprits enough to make them leave without coming inside.

“They didn’t say a word, they were very careful, even when the guy stood in the middle here," he said. "We had eye contact for 30 seconds before they stopped and he told the guy that was breaking in to stop by just tapping him on the shoulder and then he pulled him away.

“They didn’t speak. It was quite clever.”

St Peter’s Parish Council member Roger Knight said he was shocked to hear of the break-in and described the area as “relatively low in crime”.

Councillor Knight said: “It’s astonishing, it’s worrying, it’s shocking,” he continued. “It must have been very frightening for them. It’s unbelievable that someone could do that, have such disregard for the people in the house.

“They could have had young children in there,” he added.

Mr Thompson’s neighbours appeared to be unaware of the incident.

One pensioner, who did not wish to be named, but who has lived on the street for 25 years, said: “It was pretty quiet. It’s not something you would expect. I knew nothing about it.”

Another pensioner said: “I am on my own, but it doesn’t scare me. I’m very stubborn.”

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wall confirmed officers had launched an investigation after being called to an attempted burglary on Stroma Avenue just after 5am on Tuesday.

They are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen people acting suspiciously in the area.

DCI Wall added: "Being broken into is absolutely devastating and can have a long lasting impact on victims.

"When someone has unfortunately been a victim we make sure this is followed up with advice and support.

"Some crime prevention measures people can take include installing CCTV, burglar alarms and outside lighting, as well as homeowners locking front and back doors, even if they are in the house and particularly overnight.

"Hiding items such as mobile phones, car keys, wallets and purses, out of view from windows and doors is also advisable."

If you have any information call police on 101 and quote reference number 57S of May 7.