Three masked men tied a couple up in their home and stole the keys to their car and village shop, which was later burgled, police said today.
The intruders forced their way into the home in Capheaton, Northumberland, at 11pm on Tuesday night and subjected the two residents to an hour-long ordeal.
They demanded the keys for the couple's car and shop in Kirkharle, a hamlet 12 miles outside Morpeth.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "The couple's shop in nearby Kirkharle was subsequently found to have been burgled.
"The men were all wearing dark clothing and balaclavas and at least one of the offenders was described as having a Scottish accent.
"Inquiries are ongoing."
Police said the couple were "shaken but uninjured".