"I will kill you."

Those are the words Manmohan Rawat heard as an intruder held a knife to his throat in his own home in the Tauranga suburb of Gate Pa.

Rawat, a restaurant manager, returned home after a shift about 3am on Tuesday when he heard shouting coming from the living room.

The 30-year-old walked down the hallway and was met by a man dressed in all-black clothing and a balaclava.

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"He just grabbed me and punched me in the face," Rawat said.

The attacker then demanded car keys and cash.

One of Rawat's flatmates, Manmeet Singh, and a friend were sitting in the lounge when the intruder came through the ranch slider and punched both of them in the face.

The attacker demanded the three men sit down while he trawled through the house picking up any valuables he could find.

Rawat said the man returned and demanded he unlocked one of the bedrooms, where his wife, Shalini Rana, was hiding after calling the police.

"He pulled a knife out and held it to my throat and said 'I will kill you'," Rawat said.

Police are investigating the incident.

Singh told the Bay of Plenty Times this was the second visit from the intruder that evening.

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Around 30 minutes prior to the attack, a man had come to the property and asked for cigarettes and alcohol, Singh said.

"He just came in and took some cigarettes off the bench and took a beer out of the fridge and we told him to get out."

Singh believed the man was assessing the house to see how many people were home before he returned.

Automatic car keys, a laptop, a smartphone, credit cards and a gold chain snatched from Rawat's neck were stolen from the house, a haul which Singh and Rawat estimated to be worth $8000.

Rawat and Singh had visible bruising on their faces when they told the Bay of Plenty Times they did not feel safe in their own home after the attack and were looking to find other accommodation.

"We want to be somewhere safer. This place is horrible," Singh said.

Rawat said he and his wife were feeling "traumatised" and he could not think about anything other than the attack.

Police confirmed they were investigating the burglary of a property on Watling Street around 3am yesterday.

A police media spokeswoman said it was reported a man entered the house and threatened the occupants.

"Police are continuing to make inquiries and have offered the victims support."


Police advice for keeping safe
Police advice is to ensure your home is secure at night, keep your doors and windows secure and close your curtains.

It also pays to invest in good quality, secure locks on windows and doors, particularly in summer.

If you have concerns about your immediate safety then you should not hesitate to call 111.

If you come across a burglar in your house, do not attempt to stop them, get out of the house or to a safe place and call police for help.