A 15-month-old girl has been held at knife-point during an armed raid, police in the UK have said.
Detectives are investigating after a burglar pretending to be from a water company tied and bound a 31-year-old woman at her home in Uxbridge, west London, holding a knife to her toddler daughter’s throat.
The suspect demanded valuables and was later joined by a woman who helped search the house during the raid on Friday evening last week.
Metropolitan Police said the victims were not seriously injured.
Detective Constable Anji Dawson said: "Thankfully these types of incidents are very rare and the victim did not suffer any serious injuries.
"However this was a terrifying burglary which has left the mother of a very young child extremely shaken."
The incident happened at around 5pm in Harlington Road, police said.
The knifeman was wearing a lanyard around his neck and a high-visibility jacket which made the victim believe he was a genuine meter reader, police said.
As the victim went into the kitchen, she heard her 15-month-old daughter scream. She turned around and saw the burglar holding a knife to her daughter. He then asked: “Where is the gold?”
Police said the man bound the mother’s wrists and ankles and put her and her daughter in the bathroom. He was then joined by a female accomplice and they began to search the house, eventually making off with jewellery, according to police.
They said the mother and daughter were found by neighbours about 50 minutes later.
A police spokesman said: “This incident happened on Halloween at about 5pm, so we believe there may have been many people in the area that may have seen the suspect.
“I would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or has information on what happened to come forward as soon as possible.
“We know our male suspect was joined by a female once he had put the mother and daughter in the bathroom.
“The victim did not see his female accomplice but she did hear her. This woman must have been waiting close by and may well have been seen by someone in the street.”
The male suspect is white, in his early 30s and about 5ft 10in tall. He had a goatee beard and a neck tattoo and spoke with a local London accent.
He was wearing a blue fleece with a short-sleeved high-visibility jacket, dark trousers, black shoes and a woolly hat.
There is no description of the female accomplice.