When 80-year-old Ming Yuen walked down the stairs of his Victoria home Tuesday morning, he was in for a terrifying surprise.

“I opened this door like I normally do and the guy who’s standing behind grabbed my neck,” he said.

Two intruders, wearing animal masks, demanded gold.

“I said I don’t have any gold, I have money but don’t hurt my wife,” he said.

One of the thieves ran upstairs anyway.

“My wife was fighting with him after the purse, but he grabbed it, and the other guy come in my bedroom, and I hand[ed] him all the cash in my wallet,” he said.

Police were on scene quickly but the suspects had already taken off on foot. Yuen’s wife was so shaken she had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.

Victoria Police sent a tweet saying the suspects fled in a “blue VW Jetta with ‘reflective’ tape on the bumper”.

About an hour later a vehicle matching that exact description was discovered, engulfed in flames, in a parking lot on Washington Avenue.

READ MORE: Car on fire near Gorge Waterway believed to be linked to early morning robbery

Residents of a neighbouring apartment building were filming as something in the car exploded not once, but twice.

The fire was extinguished and Victoria Police brought in a canine unit to search the area.

Ming Yuen has already changed his locks and installed deadbolts.

He said he’s lived there 40 years and never had a problem until last week when his wife heard a strange noise in the middle of the night.

“She looked out through the window and [saw] somebody was standing there on the handrail,” he said. “I asked him, just leave us alone, go somewhere else, he took off.”

Victoria Police Major Crime detectives are investigating and can’t say yet if there is any risk to the public.

Investigators are asking for witnesses who may have seen a blue Volkswagen Jetta driving erratically on Finlayson Avenue or in the area of Blanshard and Finlayson streets between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. If you saw this Jetta or have any information on the home invasion, please call their non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

April Lawrence