A pensioner attacked during a break-in at his Belfast home lay injured for 15 hours before he could raise the alarm.
The intruders burst into the house in north Belfast
Up to four men forced their way into the 75-year-old man's home at Carrick Hill at about 1800 GMT on Friday.
A struggle ensued and the elderly man sustained a broken leg. The gang then spent up to 30 minutes searching the house, before escaping with money.
The man managed to raise the alarm at 0900 GMT on Saturday. Police believe one of the intruders has a head wound.
It is believed the pensioner may have cut the young man in question about the temple during the struggle.
Detective Inspector Alan Little said the pensioner was extremely shaken up and distressed about the incident.
"He appears to have put up a struggle when the people initially broke into the house," he said.
"Unfortunately, he was badly injured in the course of that struggle."
A forensic examination of the scene has been carried out.
One of the intruders is described as being of medium height and build, with fair hair, a gaunt face and a pale complexion
Another was said to have been about six feet tall.
All the intruders were wearing dark clothes. Some were wearing baseball hats and had scarves covering their faces.
The pensioner is currently being treated in hospital.
Mr Little urged people to check with elderly neighbours, but said that police were working with local communities to try to improve the safety of people.
The police have appealed for anyone with information to contact detectives at Antrim Road.
Detective Inspector Alan Little has appealed for information
SDLP north Belfast councillor Pat Convery said those responsible were a threat to society and urged people to help the police catch the culprits.
"It doesn't bear thinking about what this elderly man was put through," he said.
"The thugs who entered his home and attacked the man are undoubtedly dangerous and wicked men."