"Despicable" burglars threatened an elderly woman with a sharp object before wrenching bangles off her wrists, - just days before robbers with hammers confronted a couple in their home.

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley appeared on Crimewatch Roadshow to appeal for information following the burglaries targeting Asian gold in Enfield.

In the first burglary, an 81-year old was in bed at her home in Winsford Terrace, Great Cambridge Road, Enfield at around 9pm on Friday, September 20 when two men barged through her bedroom door.

They produced a sharp weapon, which they held to her face and threatened her before demanding valuables.

One of the men then forcibly pull four bangles from her two wrists as the other man rifled through her belongings in the other rooms.

The men fled through a back garden when terrified victim warned that police were on their way.

As they ran they climbed over a wall, discarding some of the belongings they had stolen.

The woman suffered bruising to her arms but was not seriously injured.

Police have released images of the stolen jewellery and CCTV footage of people they want to identify.

Film shows two men acting suspiciously at 9.23pm in an alleyway near the victim’s home.

One man is wearing distinctive tracksuit trousers with a stripe running along the leg. He is also carrying a pillowcase.

Several minutes later, two men appear on bicycles and loiter at the end of the alley. The men then make off out of camera shot.

Detectives are linking the burglary to a second robbery on Sunday, 22 September at around 9pm.

A 53-year-old woman and her 65-year-old husband were at their home in Carterhatch Lane, Enfield, when the woman heard loud banging at the front door.

As she stood up, the door was opened and a man demanded money and gold.

The man began searching the house searching for valuables; despite the victim’s protests that there were none.

She was forced to lead him to the master bedroom where he rummaged through drawers and cupboards before slapping her in the face and demanding money.

The victim’s husband was in another room; he was confronted by two men armed with hammers and ordered to get on the floor. They too demanded cash and gold and threatened to kill him.

The three suspects then left the house.

The suspects are described as white men, aged between 20 and 35, and wearing bandanas.

Det Insp Ridley, from North Area CID, is leading the investigation. He said: “The CCTV which we have released today shows four men who I need to speak to as a priority. All are acting in a suspicious manner and one of the men is carrying an empty pillowcase – this is often synonymous with individuals who carry out burglaries. We have scoured the area for footage and these are the only people in the vicinity at the time of the offence. I am convinced they know something.

“I have also released an image of the pensioner’s stolen bangle. This was of significant sentimental value, as it had been passed down through many generations. The victim, as well as being physically injured and threatened, has been left devastated and no longer wants to remain at home; this is a house she has occupied for a long period of time. These callous men have destroyed her life.

“The offences occurred a short distance away from each other along the ‘A10 corridor.’ I believe the suspects may have used a vehicle and the main road as a conduit to provide an accessible access and escape route.

“If you witnessed anyone arriving or leaving these locations, or know who is responsible, then come forward as a priority. My investigation team will continue to follow every line of enquiry. I want these men caught; to target people in their homes, the places where they should feel most safe, is despicable and pure cowardice."

Poluce are urging any members of the public who may have been offered the stolen jewellery for sale or have CCTV or dashcam footage of the burglars to approach police.

No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.

Anyone with information should contact North Area CID via 101, or by tweeting @MetCC.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.