An 88-year-old woman suffered a “brutal and sustained assault” by a man as she slept in her bed, police have said.
She was woken up at about 00:30 BST on Saturday at her home in Chorley, Lancashire, to find the man assaulting her and demanding money.
The attacker pulled her from the bed and continued the assault before ransacking her house.
The victim is being treated at Wigan Hospital for non life-threatening injuries, police said.
After her attacker ran off, she managed to crawl to a neighbour’s house in Aspen Gardens and police were called.
Det Insp Warren Atkinson, of Lancashire Police, said: “This was a brutal and sustained assault on an elderly lady in her own home.
“The level of gratuitous violence used on this vulnerable woman simply beggars belief and it is a miracle she was not more seriously injured.
“We are actively seeking this offender and we have a number of inquiries which we are pursuing to find him but I would appeal to anyone in the community who knows who this man is to get in touch with us.”
He added: “I am appealing specifically to members of the criminal fraternity to provide me with information to identify this cowardly attacker.”
Police said extra officers were on patrol in the area while they looked for the suspect who they described as a young white man who spoke with a local accent.