MASKED raiders wielding a claw hammer burst into a pensioner’s home before stealing her car.

Police said the two balaclava-clad men approached the house in Balmoral Road, Haslingden, and rang the doorbell.

When the woman answered, they threatened her with a claw hammer and demanded the keys to a silver Honda Civic parked on the driveway.

The two robbers made off in the vehicle, leaving the woman, who is retired, shaken but unharmed.

Detective Sergeant Mark Gillibrand, of Rossendale CID, said: “This was a particularly nasty incident which has left the victim extremely shaken and I am really keen to for anyone who may have any information to come forward and contact us.

“In particular, I am keen to speak with anyone who may have witnessed it or any suspicious activity in the area around the time or prior to the offence.”

Following the incident, at 4.40pm on Saturday (19), police believe the men may have driven towards Manchester.

The first man, who was in possession of the hammer, is described as white, around 5ft 10ins, of slim build, with fair skin.

He was wearing a white top and a black woollen balaclava and spoke with a North West accent.

His accomplice is also described as white, but of a more stocky build and around 5ft fins feet.

He was also wearing a dark balaclava, but had dark brown hair protruding from around the edges and was dressed in a navy blue zip-up fleece and dark trousers.

DS Gillibrand said: “We believe the car was driven away along Jubilee Road towards the A56 heading to Manchester, so I would appeal to anyone who may have been on a similar route to think back if they saw anything to come forward and let us know. Any piece of information could be vital to our investigation.”

Anyone with information should call Rossendale CID on 01706 237349 quoting log reference LC-20110219-1183 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.