Leeds ram raid: Suspect in balaclava was knocked down by getaway car after burglary at Flannels
Detectives investigating a ram raid at a designer clothes store in Leeds last night have revealed that one of the suspects was knocked down as they made their escape.
Police were called to Flannels in Vicar Lane at about 10.50pm last night after a silver Transit van was repeatedly reversed into the front window.
A group of about five suspects in balaclavas had loaded clothing from the store into a black Audi estate and driven off, leaving the van at the scene.
The Audi headed up Vicar Lane and turned right onto Eastgate, where the boot of the car opened and items of clothing fell out onto the road.
The car stopped further along Eastgate and one of the suspects got out. He was knocked down by the car's open door as it reversed.
Other suspects gathered up the dropped clothing and were joined by the other man before they all sped off in the vehicle towards Eastgate roundabout.
A short time later, police received reports of vehicles acting suspiciously outside the Yorkshire Rider Social Club, in Railway Street, where items appeared to be being loaded into other vehicles.
A false numberplate that the Audi had been bearing was found later at the scene.
The store was previously targeted by ram raiders in December.
Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID, said: “This has clearly been a planned and organised burglary targeting the high-value clothing that the store sells.
“We have been carrying out extensive enquiries throughout the night and are continuing those today to identify those involved.
“The scene at the store and the transit van that was left behind are undergoing detailed forensic examination and we are carrying out checks on CCTV in the area and conducting enquiries around the vehicles."
The investigation team has now established that the van used was stolen from Sweet Street, Holbeck, on June 18 .
"We would like to hear from anyone who has seen that vehicle since that time bearing either its genuine registration of EF12 ZYN or the false one it was carrying at the time of the incident, AK13TUV," Det Insp Holmes said.
"We would also like to speak to anyone who witnessed the vehicles acting suspiciously at the Yorkshire Rider club in Railway Street, particularly if they have any information on the other vehicles seen there.
“We are aware that the incident was filmed by members of the public on their phones and we would appeal for anyone who has such footage to come forward. Even if they think their footage is no different to what other people have already posted to social media, we would still like to make that assessment ourselves."
Det Insp Holmes said last night's ram raid was not being linked to similar offences in the city centre at this stage.
“We appreciate it will have caused understandable concern and our colleagues in the city neighbourhood policing team will be working to provide suitable support and reassurance to businesses and the community.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime number 13180309802 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.