An elderly couple have been attacked and robbed in their own home in a small village in Dumfries and Galloway.
The incident happened in Mennock, near Sanquhar, in the early hours of the morning.
Three men broke into the house at about 02:00 while the 74-year-old man and his 68-year-old wife were asleep.
They held them against their will before searching the property and making off with items including a quantity of jewellery and phones.
The robbers appeared to have left the scene in a vehicle which was heard driving off along the A76 road towards Sanquhar.
Neither of the victims was hurt and the man was able to leave the house in order to alert police.
No description of the three suspects has been issued, other than they were all men.
Det Insp Dean Little said: "This was a very alarming experience for this couple and although they were not physically injured they are very much distressed over what has happened and it is important that we catch those responsible."
He described it as a "despicable crime" but stressed such incidents were "rare" in the area.
He added that a "large number of officers" were currently working in the Sanquhar area on the investigation.
"Local residents are encouraged to approach the officers if they have any information which they feel might be of assistance," he said.
He said he was keen to hear of any "unusual or suspicious activity" in or around the Mennock or Sanquhar area over Monday evening and into the early hours of Tuesday.
Any sightings of vehicles seen between 02:00 and 03:00 on Tuesday in the area should also be reported.