Man arrested after 'tens of thousands of pounds' of Flannels stock stolen in Leeds ram-raid

A man has been arrested after a ram-raid on a designer clothes shop in Leeds - the third targeting the same store in the space of a year.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 12:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 1:00 pm
Picture: Billy White.
Picture: Billy White.

Detectives are appealing for information following the incident at Flannels in Leeds city centre last night, during which tens of thousands of pounds worth of clothes are estimated to have been stolen.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident in Vicar Lane, and is currently in custody.

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Picture: Billy White.

Police do not currently believe the offence last night is linked to previous instances - but say they are "keeping an open mind".

Shortly after 9pm last night, police received a number of reports about the raid from members of the public.

A black Nissan Qashqai - which police said was stolen in a burglary in Roundhay last month - had been reversed into the front window of the shop to gain entry.

Three of the four suspects seen at the scene entered the store and stole clothing with an estimated value of tens of thousands of pounds.

They then drove off in a black BMW 4x4 and a red Mercedes hatchback, leaving the Nissan embedded in the shop.

The two vehicles were seen to travel the wrong way up Vicar Lane, over The Headrow and turn right down Lady Lane.

Officers were on the scene within minutes and searched the area, West Yorkshire Police said, but were unable to trace the culprits or the vehicles.

The Nissan Qashqai, which has been recovered from the scene for forensic examination, was displaying false number plates of NL62JVT.

Enquiries showed its correct registration was MT11FFW and that the vehicle had been stolen in a burglary in Roundhay overnight on July 25 into July 26.

The BMW, which was displaying the registration HK64ONX, and the Mercedes, which was displaying the registration YY16YWD, have still not been found.

Detective Inspector Amanda Wimbles, of Leeds District CID, said: “We are carrying out extensive enquiries into this incident which has clearly been a planned and organised offence.

“We are very much aware that this shop has been targeted on previous occasions for the high-value clothing that it sells.

"There is nothing at this stage to link last night’s raid to any of the previous incidents but we are keeping an open mind.

“We are currently carrying out checks on CCTV in the area and conducting enquiries around the vehicles involved.

“We would like to speak to people who witnessed the incident, particularly anyone who filmed the offence in progress on their phones.

“We are also keen to speak to anyone who has seen any of the vehicles involved at any time leading up to the incident. The BMW and the Mercedes are still outstanding and we would like to hear from anyone who has seen those vehicles parked up or abandoned since the incident last night.

"We are still liaising with Flannels to establish exactly what items were taken but in the meantime we would ask anyone to contact us if they are aware of the type of designer clothing they sell suddenly being offered for sale in suspicious circumstances. We would also like to remind people that handling stolen goods is a criminal offence.

“We fully appreciate that incidents of this nature in the city centre cause understandable concern to the public and to the business community and our colleagues in the city neighbourhood policing team are working to provide suitable reassurance and advice following this incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime number 13180414966 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.