An elderly man used a cup of tea to scare off two intruders who had forced their way into his Teesside home.
The pair entered the bungalow in Repton Avenue, Roseworth, Stockton, threatened the pensioner and his wife with extreme violence, and demanded cash.
While one ransacked the bedroom, the husband tried to raise the alarm by throwing a cup of tea at the window.
The window did not break, but the action scared off the intruders who fled empty-handed.
A police spokesman said that while no money was stolen this was a heartless and callous attack on two elderly pensioners, and appealed for anyone with any information to contact them.