POLICE are continuing the hunt for a masked gang who attacked a man and marched him out of his home.
Officers were alerted to the plight of the 25-year-old victim at 11.07am on Thursday.
He had been assaulted in his home, in Dean Terrace, South Shields, before being taken to a shop at Laygate, where he was left by the gang.
He was not injured but was left shocked and shaken.
Nothing was taken by the gang of seven, who were wearing balaclavas.
Today, residents living in the street spoke of their shock at what had happened and said the property had only recently been occupied.
One woman said: “The first I heard was when the police came knocking on the door asking if I had seen anything, but I was out.
“We don’t have any bother from the property.”
Police are continuing their search for the masked gang and are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Inspector Alan Cairns said: “This was an unusual incident. The victim was taken to a location at Laygate and then left there without anything being stolen.
“It’s not believed it was a random incident. We believe the man was targeted by the offenders.
“He wasn’t injured but was obviously left distressed by what happened.”
He added: “The suspects were wearing balaclavas and this would have been unusual for people to see at any time of day, but even more so early in the morning.
“I’d appeal for anyone who saw them in the Dean Terrace or Laygate areas to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
“I’d like to reassure people that we’re doing everything possible to establish the circumstances and trace the men involved. Extra patrols are taking place in the area.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191. Callers are asked to quote reference 420 03/04/14, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.