Dubai: The son of an Emirati couple attacked by a gang of masked men in their London home said he initially found the news unbelievable.

Mohammad Ali Al Tamimi, a student at Emirate College, told Gulf News that he was with his friend when he received a broadcast via BlackBerry about the incident. He said he was not aware at the time that the victims were his parents.

Al Tamimi said that his mother was sitting in her room at around 1:30am when a seven-member gang broke down the door of their apartment in Queensway district while his father was watching TV.

The intruders were wearing face masks and carried guns, knives and hammers, and began to look for valuables.

The son said that some of the gang members stayed with the father, while the rest searched other parts of the apartment and found the mother in her room. The mother was taken to the dining room where her husband was taken by gang members and assaulted.

The gang stole all the valuables from the family, including passports, said the son.

Meanwhile, London Police said robbery levels are the lowest in 15 years, and there were 7,500 fewer burglaries in the city than the year before.

Overall, police report there were 46,500 fewer crimes committed in 2013 over 2012.

Vicious attack

The vicious home-invasion style attack on the Emirati man and his wife in central London early on Tuesday morning came as London Police reported that violent crime in the city has risen year-over-year for 2013.

“I have only seen this in movies. We got a phone call and there was no answer [on the other side], and then they attacked us with white weapons and a 9mm gun, and robbed us despite the [tight security] in the building,” said one of the UAE citizens who was attacked in London, quoted by Dubai TV.

There were 852 more attacks in London that caused injuries to victims during the assaults.

In this latest attack, the couple were assaulted by masked robbers carrying guns, knives and hammers who stole cash, jewellery and credit cards.

The attack is the second in two weeks on Emiratis in the British capital, with three Emirati sisters recovering from a brutal hammer attack in the Cumberland Hotel at Marble Arch on April 7.

There were similarities to both crimes, said police, with gang members robbing the second set of victims of their cash, jewels and credit cards.