Three teens pointed a gun at an Auckland woman after she found them breaking into her home.
The 60-year-old woman is too afraid to be identified in case of retaliation by the trio, but her daughter spoke to the Herald about the frightening - and potentially deadly - incident yesterday afternoon.
She said her mother had left her Coronation Rd, Mangere Bridge home about 2pm when she got a call from her monitored alarm company saying the alarm had gone off.
"She went back home to check on it and there was a guy coming out of her bedroom. She got a fright and he got a fright too and jumped over the bannister and down the stairs.
"She ran outside and locked the door behind her, thinking she had locked them inside, but they broke out a downstairs window, so she chased them down the road."
The daughter, who could not be identified in case it identified her mother, said her mother was trying to call the police but was shaking and could not work her phone properly.
"She chased them but then some cars got in the way, and that's when they turned and pointed the gun at her. It was a long, rifle-looking thing."
Police are now appealing for sightings of the teens, who were on bicycles, and unable to be located despite air and ground searches yesterday.
They needed to be stopped before they did "something stupid," said the victim's daughter, who is currently staying with her mother to make her feel safe in her house again.
"It's one thing to rob someone's house, but pointing a gun is another story. If they are young and stupid enough to point it at someone, what's going to happen next time? Will they pull something? Do they even know how to use it?"
The victim was incredibly shaken after the ordeal and her family members were angry, said her daughter.
"It's our family home that my parents have owned for 35 to 40 years, mum should feel safe there."
Possessions were found scattered throughout the garden as the teens dropped them when they fled, so the family were still trying to work out what might have been taken.
"Everyone works hard for what they have got and we are no different. There is no reason that they should come and break into mum's house when she's not there and take things she's worked for herself and things we have worked for to give her."
A police spokeswoman said police were still appealing for sightings of and information about the teens.
They are described as being of Maori or Pacific Island descent and were seen wearing "sports clothing" including trackpants and hooded jumpers.
Call Counties Manukau Police: (09) 261 1300 or CrimeStoppers anonymously: 0800 555 111.