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Four premises held up in city in space of four hours
A teenager was being quizzed tonight in connection with a string of armed robberies at shops and post offices across Bradford.
The investigation was launched after a masked raider brandishing a gun threatened staff and demanded money at two post offices and two shops – then fled empty-handed.
Detectives have been studying CCTV from around the robbery scenes for clues and have described the offences as “extremely concerning”.
The series of raids began at 3pm on Thursday, when a man entered the post office in Wrose Road, Shipley, with what is believed to be a handgun.
He demanded money from staff at the counter, but fled empty-handed towards Carr Lane after it was suggested police were to be contacted.
The next three raids happened in the space of half an hour. At 6.30pm another post office was targeted in Lillycroft Road, Manningham, when a man made demands for cash and threatened staff.
He was confronted by the staff member and again fled with nothing.
It is thought he was joined by two other men outside.
The third attempt took place at a food store in Bishop Street, Manningham, at 6:45pm, where a similar approach was made to staff by a man with a suspected firearm.
Again the suspect fled without the contents of the till, along Bishop Street in the direction of Park View Road.
Fifteen minutes later the final offence took place, at the Subway premises, in Keighley Road, Frizinghall.
Threats were again made with what appeared to be a handgun and demands made for money. But the man then turned and left the shop.
The suspect on each occasion was said to be in his late teens, of slim build, between 5ft 5ins and 5ft 11ins tall, wearing a grey jacket and a balaclava or face covering.
Det Insp Mark Long, who is leading the investigation into the incidents, said: “Through the very nature of these incidents, their location and their timings, we are considering links between them. Although there was nobody injured during these offences and nothing was taken, they are clearly extremely concerning.
“The victims in each offence will undoubtedly have been very frightened and fearing for their personal safety.
“We are currently conducting CCTV inquiries in each of the areas and detectives are working hard to ascertain the identity of those responsible. “I would call upon any witnesses, or anyone with any information which could assist our inquiries, to come forward immediately.
“Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or the non-emergency number 101.”
The son of the victim held up at Subway in Frizinghall, said it was a “disturbing” offence.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said his mother, who is in her 50s, was working with a female colleague in her 20s when the attempt robbery happened.
He said: “My mum came out of the back of the shop and a gunman was stood behind the counter. He pointed the handgun at her, came out with some expletives and demanded money.
My mum said ‘yeah, yeah, okay,’ but he just turned round and left and did not attempt to take anything. It’s bizarre. “My mum is quite tough but it has hit her now. It was a shocking experience for her.”