An 83-year-old woman has been left fighting for her life after falling while trying to flee from burglars.
She was found in the garden of her house at Sydney Street in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone shortly after four men ransacked the property.
Police believe the pensioner may have fallen from an upstairs window.
An attempted murder investigation has been launched.
Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: "This is a sickening incident in which a vulnerable 83-year-old woman sustained serious injuries.
"We are investigating the circumstances of the burglary and believe that the lady may have fallen from an upstairs bedroom window while trying to escape while her house was ransacked."
The woman was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where her condition is described as critical.
The four suspects fled in a black coloured car in the direction of Moore Street.
Police are investigating a possible link between the incident and three other reported burglaries which occurred in Aghaloo Close in Aughnacloy, Richmond Park in Ballygawley and in McDowell Terrace in Seskinore on Tuesday, as well as a separate report of a similar suspicious vehicle.
Mr Caldwell added: "We understand the effect that burglary can have on its victims and want to reassure the community that we are undertaking thorough and robust investigations.
"I am appealing for anyone who has any information about this incident to contact detectives in Dungannon."