String of armed robberies of high-performance cars across West Yorkshire

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Police have launched a major investigation following the theft of high-performance cars in a string of violent armed robberies across West Yorkshire.

On Monday and Tuesday there were six raids by masked men armed with weapons including knives, screwdrivers and pool cues in Leeds, Kirklees and Bradford.

In the first incident, at 6.40pm Monday evening, a silver VW Golf GTi was taken from Woodlands Crescent, Gomersal, after two men threatened the 42-year-old owner with a knife.

About two hours later a blue Vauxhall Insignia was stolen after a man was threatened with a screwdriver and punched at an address in Tyersal Park, Bradford.

Then, at 10pm, residents of a property on Bolton Drive, Bradford, were threatened before a silver Mercedes A200 was taken.

At about 6pm on Tuesday, four men their way into a property in Lumb Bottom, Drighlington, and threatened the occupants before taking a black Audi A4 estate car.

A similar incident occurred in Langley Lane, Shipley at about 7pm, when three men in balaclavas broke into a house and threatened the occupants before taking an Audi Q7.

The car was recovered by police in Laisterdyke.

Two hours later, a gang got into a house in Rooks Close, Wyke, and punched a woman in the face before stealing her silver Mercedes E250 car.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Hooks, said: “There are a number of similarities involved in each of these incidents and a team of specialist detectives is investigating these under one large-scale inquiry.

“Enquiries are at an early stage with regard to who the suspects might be and any vehicles which may have been used, but officers are already following up a number of leads.

“Resources have been drawn from each of these districts to help with the investigation and public reassurance, and officers will be happy to speak to any residents about any concerns they may have.

“The level of violence used in these offences is clearly of concern and we are committed to keeping the public safe.”

Anyone with information should call Bradford CID on 101, or Crimestopperson 0800 555111.

Nearly half of those charged were over 35

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