Masked intruders smashed their way in to a terrified home owner's property before ransacking a bedroom and helping themselves to jewellery.

Police confirmed the thugs, all wearing face coverings and dressed in black, struck while the resident was home and watches and a wedding ring were among the burglars' haul.

The sickening smash and grab saw the burglars smash their way into the property in Hightown on Thursday.

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Police said the intruders entered the home in North End Lane at 3.20pm after forcing a rear door of the property in the Sefton village which sits between Liverpool and Southport.

After turning a bedroom upside down, the gang fled towards Hightown train station with jewellery - the value of which has not been disclosed by police.

A police scientific support van was called to the scene and was still there at 6pm on Thursday.

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A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: "We are appealing for information following a burglary in Hightown on Thursday.

"At around 3.20pm we received a report that intruders had entered a home address on North End Lane after forcing entry via a rear door.

"They made an untidy search of the bedrooms before making off with jewellery - including watches and a wedding ring."

Police Scientific Support on North End Lane, Hightown.

The raiders are described as white, wearing masks, and dressed in black. It is thought they left the property via the back doors.

CCTV, forensic and witness enquires are ongoing to identify those responsible and return the stolen items to their owner.

Detective chief inspector Gayle Rooney said: “To be the victim of burglary is incredibly upsetting, and the occupant of the house, who was present at the time, has naturally been left incredibly distressed by this incident.

"We're keen to speak to anyone who can help bring the offenders to justice.

“We are carrying out house-to-house and CCTV enquiries, and I would ask anyone who may have heard or seen suspicious behaviour, or has their own CCTV or dashcam footage from North End Lane or Hightown Station to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact @MerPolCC, 101 quoting ref. 21000123230 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.