Detectives investigating an armed robbery at a family’s home in Middleton are now linking it to incidents in New Farnley and Wortley the same evening.
At about 8pm on Monday four to five masked men, armed with knives and what appeared to be a handgun, confronted a woman who was at home with her three children in Thorpe Crescent, Middleton.
They threatened her and stole a large amount of cash, along with jewellery, bank cards and a mobile phone, and drove off in her husband’s grey Range Rover.
At about 7.30pm last night police found the missing Range Rover on fire next to a row of garages in Greenside Walk, Wortley.
Four men were seen to run away and drive off in a grey 15-plate Alfa Romeo.
It is believed the Alfa Romeo is a Giuiletta model, registration YC15 RJU, that was stolen from its owner at a farm off Whitehall Road, New Farnley, at about 6pm on Monday.
The 74-year-old owner was knocked to the floor and had a knife held to his throat when up to six masked men called at the address.
They demanded money and stole cash, jewellery and a phone before leaving in the car.
Detective Inspector John Dexter, of Leeds District CID, said:
“We are now treating these two incidents as linked and believe the same offenders have been involved. Given the violent nature of both offences, it is clear we are dealing with people who need to be taken off the streets at the earliest opportunity.
“We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed anything suspicious around the time of either incident as well as anyone who saw the men setting the Range Rover on fire in Wortley or driving away in the grey Alfa Romeo.
“The Alfa Romeo is still outstanding and we would like to hear from anyone who has seen that vehicle since it was stolen on Monday or who knows its current whereabouts.
“We have a team of detectives carrying out extensive enquiries into these incidents and we are looking at whether they are linked to any other similar offences.
“These incidents will understandably have caused concern in the community but I would like to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to find the people responsible and bring them to justice.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Leeds District CID at Elland Road via 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.