A POLICE strike force has been set-up to hunt the two men behind a break-in where a woman was held at knifepoint, then assaulted in her home before her "life savings" were stolen.
Detectives are hunting two "cowards" for the aggravated break-and-enter at the Eugene Street home in Inverell last month.
"This incident can only be described as cowardly," New England Detective Inspector Roger Best told the Leader on Thursday.
"Two men armed with a knife confronting a lady in her own bedroom is nothing short of disgraceful.
"To then assault her and steal her life savings is the act of cowards."
Inverell detectives have launched Strike Force Bareki to investigate the break-in which saw the woman lose much of her life savings.
The offenders hit the home about 5am on January 7. They broke into the Eugene Street home, and stormed the bedroom where the 68-year-old was sleeping. She was then forced at knifepoint to open her safe.
"A significant quantity of cash in $100 notes was taken by the offenders together with a quantity of jewellery," Detective Best said.
Detectives are following a number of leads in the manhunt, and they believe several locals know the identity of the two offenders.
The pair are both described as being of Aboriginal appearance, about 20 years old, with a skinny build and were last seen wearing dark clothing. Police said one offender is described as being more muscular than the first.
"We are putting all available resources into this investigation," Detective Best said.
"Our detectives are working on a number of lines of inquiry and we strongly believe there are local Inverell residents who know the identity of the offenders.
"I want to remind those people that withholding such information is in itself a criminal offence, and we will not hesitate to take action and put those people before the courts."
Anyone with information on the break-in, or who knows the offenders, is urged to contact Inverell detectives on 6722 0599.