POLICE are hunting a violent gang who burst into a West Wellow pensioner's home and stole a substantial amount of cash.

The 77-year-old woman and her middle-aged son were threatened by the three men--one of whom was brandishing a six-inch piece of metal.

Detectives have confirmed that a large quantity of cash was snatched during the raid at the victims' bungalow in Canada Road, last Saturday afternoon.

Police say the men forced their way into the property at about 5.50pm.

The victims who went to investigate the noise made by the intruders were bundled into the bathroom.

Both were held prisoner by one of the robbers, while the other two searched and ransacked the building.

The men told the terrified bungalow occupants that they would be harmed if cash was not produced. Once the men had found a substantial amount of cash they fled.

DC Jeff Cox from Romsey CID, who is heading the investigation, said: "The elderly lady is well-known in the village. Both the lady and her son were very shook up by this. We are now investigating sightings of people and vehicles seen in the area.

"We would like to hear from anyone who went into the Rockingham Arms pub on Saturday. We know that a group of football supporters were in a car outside the pub. They went to watch the Bournemouth--Gillingham match and went in the pub for a drink." Police officers have been carrying out house-to-house enquiries in Canada Road and will be present tomorrow evening (Saturday) when posters appealing for witnesses to the robbery will be on display. A police officer will be in attendance in Canada Road.

"People will be able to speak to the officer at about 6pm. I am interested to hear from anyone who may have heard or seen anything suspicious last Saturday or anytime before that," said DC Cox, adding: "We are very concerned about this alarming incident."

Detectives have issued descriptions of the three men involved. One is described as white and between 28 and 30-years-old, clean shaven, about 6ft tall with short, tidy, light brown hair. He had a ruddy complexion and was wearing dark clothing and fairly new brown boots.

The second man involved, was again white, and is said to be in his mid-20s, 5ft 6ins tall and had tidy, dark brown hair. He had greenish-brown eyes and dark eyebrows. Police say he was wearing a royal blue or green plastic raincoat.

A third man is described as white, in his late-20s and 5ft 9ins tall. He had black, medium-length hair, which was may have been parted on the right. He was wearing dark clothing. Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to call DC Cox at the incident room which has been set up at Romsey police station. The number is to call is (01794) 512161.