Katherine Jaynes, of Rogan Street, said the men also stole her telephone.
The incident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday.
Jaynes told Rogersville police she heard a knock at her door about 8:50 p.m. Sunday, and she saw two men outside who asked if they could use her phone because their car had broken down.
“Mrs. Jaynes said she opened the door and let them in, and the suspects closed the door behind them,” Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson said. “They told her, ‘Give us the money old lady. We don’t want to hurt you.’”
Jaynes retrieved $300 in cash from her purse. The suspects also took her cordless phone when they left.
Both men were described as about 6 feet tall, average build with short hair, and one of the suspects was wearing a tan jacket with the word “Abercrombie” on the back.
Nelson said the incident should serve as a reminder to the public that in this day and age it’s never safe to open your door to strangers.
“When somebody you don’t know comes to your door with a story like their car broke down and they need to use the phone, or with some other excuse to get into your house, don’t open the door — not even a crack or on a chain,” Nelson said. “Just holler through the door, ‘Don’t worry, I called the police and you can use their phone’ and call 911 immediately. I want the public to be aware of this because when somebody gets away with something like this, they’re probably going to try it again.
“That’s pretty sorry — to threaten an 86-year-old woman and steal all her cash. And then to take her cordless phone to give them a head start where she couldn’t even call for help. I want to find these fellows.”
Nelson asks anyone with information about the two suspects to call the Rogersville Police Department at 272-7555.