A pensioner in her eighties was treated in hospital after being tricked by violent burglars who posed with children pretending they were searching for a pet rabbit.
The woman was at home alone in Cuckoo Hill, Pinner, north west London, when she answered the door to a man with two children at around 6pm on January 12.
They claimed that their pet rabbit had escaped into her garden, but a second man then forced his way into her house and pushed and dragged her around her home, stealing her handbag.
She was thrown to the kitchen floor, and left "extremely shaken" with injuries to her head and body that needed hospital treatment, Scotland Yard said.
Detective Constable Paul Matthews said: "This offence has caused a great deal of distress for the victim and I would urge anyone with information to come forward and assist police.
"I understand that there were passing motorists at the time and there may have even been pedestrians who may have seen something.
"I would also urge local residents to be vigilant and look out for a black Tula handbag that may have been discarded in the area. If you have any information no matter how insignificant, then please contact us."
Officers are looking for two children aged around eight and 10 who are possibly Asian. They are around 4ft 10ins tall, stocky and were wearing dark jackets. The first man was Asian, aged 18 to 20, 5ft 7ins and thin, wearing a dark woolly hat, a light coloured knitted top that looked like a cricket jumper and dark trousers.
The second man was also Asian, in his mid-twenties, around 5ft 10in and was wearing a dark woolly hat, a pale scarf, a dark bomber jacket and dark tracksuit bottoms with trainers. Officers said they want to speak to two men who match those descriptions who were out in the area the day before, claiming to be from the Macmillan Nursing charity.
Two men in their 20s have been arrested and released on bail.