When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Family's terror after 'fake police' gang struck
A SOUTHAMPTON mum and her two children ran for their lives when five masked men burst into their home and threatened to shoot them.
“We’ve got guns and we will kill you,” the gang told terrified Karen Watkins during the violent late night raid.
Today the mum relived the moment when she and her two teenage children fled after the asked men burst into their house in the Flower Estate claiming to be police.
She has made an emotional appeal for people to help detectives track down the intruders who staged the attack just three days after the death of her father.
Karen, 42, heard violent thuds coming from the kitchen below at her home in Laburnum Road at 11.15pm last Thursday and crept downstairs to investigate.
She told the Daily Echo: “The whole house was shaking as if it was an earthquake. I saw a man come smashing through the back door dressed in black and another behind him.
“They said ‘stay where you are, we’ve got guns and we will kill you’.”
The pair pushed past her and her children and stormed upstairs to where her boyfriend was in bed. Karen fled into the street in her pyjamas with her 15-year-old daughter – dressed just in her underwear – and her 16-year-old son in tow.
Petrified Karen said: “I just said ‘kids run’. I was petrified, especially as my boyfriend was upstairs and I was expecting to hear gunshots.
“We banged on a next door neighbours house and hid behind the car in the neighbour’s driveway and the kids were clinging to me.”
The men ran off ten minutes later and she returned to the house to find her boyfriend covered in blood and stumbling through the glass.
The 39-year-old, who is too scared to give his name, was hit by one of the men after he told them they had no money or jewellery.
He suffered a suspected broken nose but did not need hospital treatment.
The brick used to smash the glass panelling dented the fridge-freezer and the gang stole a Samsung tablet bought for Karen’s son’s birthday three months ago.
The events have taken a toll on her as she prepares for her dad’s funeral a week tomorrow. The 63-year-old died last Monday after contracting pneumonia.
She added: “It’s been one big nightmare, we’ve been grieving and now this.
“It’s the worst experience of my life.
“I am supposed to be sorting out the funeral and my head is all over the place.”
“It was like something out of Crimewatch and it’s going to stay with us for a long time and any little noise we are going to be on edge. I just hope the police can catch them.”
The men, in their late teens or early 20s wore dark tracksuit style clothing and face coverings, scarves and balaclavas.
One is described as having a larger build than the others.
Witnesses should call Bitterne CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Comments are closed on this article.