Three armed robbers forced their way into a family home where two young girls were playing.

The men, who were brandishing a gun, demanded cash from the occupants in a brazen daylight raid.

The gunmen struck at about 11:40am yesterday, breaking through the screen of a downstairs window at a two-storey house on Slip Point Lane, St. George’s.

No one was hurt in the attempted armed robbery and the three men fled from the scene on foot.

There were believed to be at least five adults and two young girls, aged four and five, in the house, which is on the corner of Wellington Slip Road, at the time.

Just minutes before the attack, neighbours reported seeing the two girls running in and out of the house in their bathing suits.

Up to 20 police officers descended on the scene and appeared to concentrate their search for the men and the weapon in the car park next to the St. George’s Boat Yard.

Shocked residents were told to stay inside their homes and lock their doors “as the gunmen could be anywhere”. Police also blocked off the circular, one-way road, which goes around the edge of Wellington Oval, but did not make any arrests.

A family has reportedly occupied the house for more than 40 years — we have decided not to name them to protect their privacy.

Four generations of the family currently live at the property, which has a main house and two adjoining apartments.

Neighbours described the family as “good people” and “a real nice family” who are “part of the community”.

They said it was “a quiet road” where nothing like this had ever happened before.

A 36-year-old neighbour said she “hadn’t seen a thing”, even though she’d been sitting by the window all morning.

She said: “It was just like any other day.

“The two little girls were running around in their bathing suits enjoying the summer holidays.

“The first thing I knew something had happened was when I saw the police pulling up. There were all these officers standing around.

“They were talking on their radios, pointing and looking down the road.

“The family were standing with them outside relaying what had happened.

 “It was obvious someone must have done something and they were still on the run.”

Forensics

Uniformed and plain-clothed officers were at the scene, as well as the K-9 unit and forensics.

Some officers went inside the house, others stood on guard or searched the area.

Neighbours said the house was not cordoned off.

By 3pm all police officers had left the scene and the only sign that anything had happened was a broken window screen.

The neighbour said police had knocked on her door to see if she had seen or heard anything.

She added that the robbers had struck when most people were at work.

She added: “You don’t expect something like this to happen.

“But I don’t feel unsafe in Bermuda, things like this can happen anywhere nowadays.” Another neighbour, a man in his 50s, said he had left his house to see what was happening when he saw the police, but was told “to get back inside immediately”.

Escaped

He added: “I couldn’t believe it. I had to stay inside and lock my doors.

 “It was scary — nothing like this normally happens round here.

“It must have all happened so quickly.

“The men escaped and no one seemed to know where they went.”

The targeted family did not want to speak about what had happened when they were approached by the Bermuda Sun yesterday.

A female family member said: “I have no comment, no comment whatsoever.”

Bermuda Police spokesman Robin Simmons said a “thorough search of the vicinity was conducted” and “an active investigation is underway”.

Any witnesses or anyone with any information should contact the Serious Crime Unit on 299-8121 or the independent confidential Crime Stoppers Bermuda hotline on 800-8477.