A Worksop couple say they thought a gun had gone off as vandals smashed their bedroom window in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Jim and Mandy Bradford, of Sandy Lane, were settling back into bed after putting dog Two Socks outside when they heard an almighty crash.
The attackers threw a large concrete boulder through the window before making off with a wooden sewing box around 4.20am.
Said Mandy: “It was terrifying. They kept smashing the rock against the window - they were determined to get in.”
“Luckily it missed us but it could have been much worse. There were shards of glass everywhere.”
“There are a lot of pensioners’ bungalows on our road and I dread to think what could have happened if they’d attacked our elderly neighbour.”
It is thought the burglars had seen the wooden box on the windowsill and thought it was a jewellery box containing valuable items.
Said Mandy: “The window is double-glazed and they spent ages trying to break it. They were oblivious to our screams and must have been really desperate.”
“We should have known something was wrong when Jim put Two Socks out because he kept growling - it’s like he knew something was going to happen.”
She added: “Whoever did this has caused so much damage we have also had to have a new frame installed.”
“The window is all boarded up and the thought of going to sleep now is terrifying.”
Police are urging anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time or who has any information to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A spokesman said: “We have increased patrols in the area in a bid to deter crime and to provide reassurance to local residents.”