Detectives launch urgent appeal after three knifepoint robberies in one night in Otley

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Detectives are appealing for information following a series of knifepoint robberies in Otley - including a shocking incident where a 15 and 16 year old were threatened.

Officers from Leeds District Crime Team are carrying out enquiries into three incidents that occurred on Friday last week.

The incidents are believed to be linked, police said.

The incidents all happened in Wharfemeadows Park between about 9pm and 9.30pm.

A boy and girl, both aged 15, were in the park when they were threatened with a knife by a suspect who demanded their mobile phones.

The girl managed to fight him off and the suspect ran away.

He was described as a white male, wearing a grey hoody and a black jacket.

Around the same time, a 17-year-old boy was approached separately in Wharfemeadows Park while he was with three friends.

The suspect showed them a knife and demanded the victim’s wallet but he and his friends ran off

A short time before, a 23-year-old man was targeted near to the skate park in Wharfemeadows Park.

He was approached by a suspect who produced a knife. The victim ran off to safety.

Officers are looking to see if those offences could be linked to an incident on Thursday (August 29th) where a 19-year-old man and his friend were robbed near to the cemetery, in Pool Road, Otley.

They were approached at about 9.30pm by two males who had knives and had their faces with scarves.

The victims handed over property, including a wallet, cards and cash.

The suspects were described as being in their early twenties and were wearing dark clothing.

Detective Inspector Andy Norgate, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “These were obviously very distressing incidents for the victims and we are currently working to identify those responsible.

“We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any of the incidents or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time.

“The incidents on Friday took place in the same location during the same period of time and we believe they are linked to the same suspect. We are also looking into whether the incident on Thursday is part of the same series.

“Otley is a normally a very low crime area and street robberies such as this are relatively unusual. We are liaising with our colleagues on the local neighbourhood policing team who are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure the community.”

Anyone with any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Leeds District Crime Team at Elland Road via 101 quoting crime reference 13190444886 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.