A gang of professional ram-raiders may be operating in Leeds.
The news comes after the latest in a string of incidents of thieves in stolen cars smashing their way into shops to steal goods.
On Thursday night a stolen BMW 3 Series was used in a burglary at the Co-operative shop off Wellington Street in the city centre.
It is thought three masked men had got out of the car on the street at around 11.30pm before breaking in through windows of the shop – part of the West Point apartments complex – to steal a large quantity of cigarettes.
They drove off in the car but collided with a taxi on Wellington Street.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Following the collision, the suspects abandoned the vehicle and made off on foot towards Whitehall Road in the direction of Globe Road.
“The male occupant of the taxi was fortunately uninjured.”
Although the car was not used to break into the shop, detectives are investigating potential links to recent ram-raids.
Thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes were stolen after a masked gang used a stolen Land Rover to smash through windows at Makro in Lower Wortley on September 14.
On September 25 a stolen Land Rover was used in raids on two shops – one in Armley and one in Farnley – within the space of 30 minutes, during which about £1,000 worth of jeans were taken.
And on October 8 thousands of pounds worth of designer clothing was taken after a stolen BMW smashed into Flannels on Vicar Lane.
The police spokesman said: “Forming part of the investigation, officers are examining other similar incidents that have occurred recently to see if any links can be established.”
Following Thursday’s burglary a spokeswoman for Co-operative Food said: “CCTV footage has been given to the police, who are investigating.
“As with any incidents such as this, we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”
Call Holbeck CID via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.