Wigan robbers clown masks
A CCTV still of one of the robbers who wore a clown mask during terrifying raid Greater Manchester Police

Police in Manchester are searching for two thieves in clown masks who terrorised a pregnant woman and her partner in their own home with an axe.

After smashing their way in through a patio door, the men forced the woman to the ground during the robbery, in the village of Hindley Green at about 10.15pm on Tuesday (2 May).

They threatened her partner, before escaping with a man's Omega Seamaster watch and a "significant amount" of money.

The two assailants were captured on security cameras making their escape from the house in Leigh Road towards nearby Thomas Street.

The woman was taken to hospital as a precaution but was not badly hurt in the incident, which is being treated by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as aggravated burglary.

Det Con Ian Deary, from GMP Wigan division, said: "This was a shocking and violent burglary that has left a pregnant woman and her partner terrified in their own home. These men have forced their way inside wearing masks and armed with an axe - it is fortunate that nobody was seriously injured.

"I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time and noticed anything suspicious to come forward.

"I'm particularly interested in speaking to any local pawn brokers that have been approached with a watch matching the picture or anyone who recognises the men in the CCTV stills."

In February 2017, an 18-year-old man who terrified a pregnant woman while dressed as a clown during the 2016 "scary clown" craze was jailed for six months. Michael March, from South Shields, banged an axe on the floor in the car park of a pub to terrify the woman as she walked past on Hallowe'en.

Anyone with information about the Wigan robbery is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident number 2594 of May 2, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.