Three men arrested after a terrifying armed raid in Longridge - in which a mum and her two young sons were tied up and threatened with a sledgehammer - have been released on police bail.
The men, aged 23, 24 and 34 and from the Preston
area, have been released until March 14 pending further police inquiries.
Police are appealing for more information about the raid, in which four men are said to have burst into the semi-detached house on
Halfpenny Lane and threatened the mother and her two boys, aged eight and 10.
They tied up the frightened family with dressing gown cords and punched the woman in the face, before ransacking their home.
The thieves then made off with a number of guns and ammunition.
The raid took place last Tuesday, February 11, around 5.30pm and police would particularly like to hear from anyone who saw a “suspicious” white Transit sized van and small hatchback vehicle with men on board in and around the area on Tuesday or earlier in the week.
The couple living in the house have been named as Kelvin and Caroline Corsbie, and it is believed Mr Corsbie is a poultry and game dealer.
Police are also asking residents, or anybody who has walked in the area, to let them know if they have spotted anything lying around, as the offenders were wearing balaclavas at the time of the offence.
A police spokesman said: ”We are aware a Transit size white van of some sort was involved,
“If you can help in any way please contact Preston police on the non emergency number of 101, quoting log number 0974, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
After the robbery the culprits, who are also believed to have been armed with knives, made off in the Transit van with a number of firearms, including a pump-action shotgun, a deer rifle and a foxing rifle as well as ammunition.
The firearms had been in a safe.
Det Insp Paddy O’Neill, of Preston police, said: “This must have been extremely traumatic for the family involved, but, thankfully, they were not seriously hurt.
“I would appeal for anyone with any information to get in touch with us as a matter of urgency.”
Community leaders have spoken of their shock at the incident on such a quiet, rural road.
Coun Lona Smith, who represents Preston Rural North, described the incident as “horrible”.
She added: “I am absolutely shocked to hear that such a violent crime has happened in an otherwise quiet area.”
Coun Ken Hudson said: “It’s very worrying for other residents that we’ve got a situation where a mother and two children are being tied up and threatened. We hope that the full weight of the law comes down on whoever did it.”