A family with two young children were tied up and barricaded in a bathroom as a gang of masked men ransacked their home.
The men approached the family as they entered a house in Fernbridge Road, Newtownabbey in the early hours of Tuesday morning and threatened them with a suspected firearm before forcing them to lie on the kitchen floor.
The man and woman were taken upstairs and ordered to hand over valuables in their possession, during which time the man was hit several times on the legs with a hammer.
It is believed a sum of money, jewellery and a car were taken during the incident.
The man received treatment in hospital for his injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening, while the woman and two children were left “deeply shocked”, police said.
SDLP Councillor Noreen McClelland described the incident as “horrific”.
“People are shocked at hearing something as appalling as this could happen in their community,” said Ms McClelland. “This happened in the middle of the night when a family rightly thought they were in the comfort and safety of their own home when these evil thugs burst in and subjected them to this horror.
“I can only imagine the family are badly traumatised by what happened, and it will take them some time to come to terms with it. This family were in their home, a place where they should feel safe, but for this to happen is devastating.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family, and I urge anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward to the PSNI as soon as possible and ensure that those behind it are held to account.”