Two criminals caught red-handed with duck tape and cable ties have been jailed for attempting to rob an elderly Moston brother and sister.
Anthony Neil Howard, 42, of no fixed address and from the Oldham area, and Naseer Ahmed, 39 of Walmersley Road, Bury, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with intent at an earlier hearing.
Howard was jailed for nine years and Ahmed was jailed for eight years at Manchester Crown Court.
Detective Constable Alexander Day said: "Howard and Ahmed preyed upon two vulnerable, elderly people, a brother and sister living alone who they knew would be no match for them physically.”
The victims are a brother and sister who, at the time, were 78 and 79-years-old respectively. They lived together at a house on Anfield Road in Moston.
At about 9.20pm on Thursday February 9, the brother returned home from work and his sister was already in the house.
As he was opening the door, the offenders, dressed in balaclavas, pushed passed their brother into the house.
Hearing a commotion, the sister was quick enough to press her panic button. She then walked into the hallway to see the two would-be thieves pushing her brother around.
Detective Constable Day said: "What they failed to plan for was the quick-thinking of the woman who pressed the panic alarm which alerted police immediately and allowed two response officers to get round to the house and catch these men literally red-handed.”
One of the men then pushed the elderly woman to the floor and as her brother rushed to her aid, a further struggle ensued and he managed to pull one of the offender's balaclavas off to reveal his face.
This action enraged the offender, who continued to keep the brother pinned to the ground and guarded the elderly siblings whilst his accomplice searched upstairs.
Police officers then arrived having been called by Social Services who were alerted to the panic alarm being set off.
One of the officers saw the brother and sister lying on the floor and then tackled Howard to the ground in the living room.
The other responding officer arrested Ahmed upstairs who was found in possession of a rucksack, which contained duck tape, a torch and a carrier bag.
Inside the carrier bag were a bunch of cable ties about 30cm long.
Detective Constable Day continued: "The obvious assumption must be then intended to tie their victims up if they resisted so they could ransack the property and steal whatever they wanted.
"I would like to praise the actions of both the couple themselves who so bravely tried to fight off these two cowards and also for having the presence of mind to activate the alarm, and also the officers themselves who responded so quickly and caught these men in the act."