A woman was tied up and locked in a bathroom by masked crowbar-wielding raiders who broke into a house and stole six guns.
The PSNI said the woman, who is in her 20s, has been “badly shocked by her ordeal”.
She was confronted by the three men who forced their way into a house in the Craigmore Road area of Garvagh shortly before 6am on Saturday.
The thieves stole six legally held firearms and are believed to have then made their getaway in a vehicle.
Detective Inspector Bob Blemmings, who is investigating the aggravated burglary, is appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time and saw any suspicious activity to contact CID in Coleraine or Crimestoppers.
DUP councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan lives only a few miles away from the home that was targeted.
“I am aware that these were six legally held weapons I would assume of the type normally held by farmers, such as shotguns,” she said.
“I understand that the young woman’s husband had left early for work, leaving her at home alone when the gang broke in and tied her up.
“They went through the entire house but it appears that they seemed to have been looking for the guns.
“That implies that they either knew the family or knew that they kept guns.”
These sort of attacks in rural parts of her constituency are becoming increasingly common, she said.
“I have lived in rural areas all of my life and even in the darker days you never felt as unsafe as you do now,” she added.
“It was quite an ordeal to be imposed upon a young woman in her own home.
“I hope there will be no longer term effects – it is not something you would get over in a few days.
“ I do hope the police have some leads and hope that they get the people responsible soon.”