Lives could be at risk after a series of knifepoint robberies in Bradford, claims a business owner.
Police are investigating after four robberies in the Five Lane Ends area of Bradford including one in which a woman was hurt.
People living and working in the Five Lane Ends area say the crimes have unnerved.
Four people have been threatened at knifepoint in the Idle and Wrose in the last month. Police last night stressed that they had no evidence to link the attacks and said patrols had been increased.
The latest incident occurred on Saturday night when a woman was robbed if her purse outside Drakes fish shop in Highfield Road.
Owner Oliver Singh was in the shop when the attack happened at 9.30pm. He said the victim, a 41-year-old woman, was a regular.
He said: “She went outside and I heard a scream. I presumed it was just somebody coming out of the pub because I saw somebody running in a black outfit.
“But then she came back in shaking, saying she’d been mugged and cut.”
The attacker was white, 5ft 10ins and slim. Julie Beaumont, who works at the fish shop, said she would not be letting her 13-year-old daughter out after dark.
She said: “It’s quite scary. I’m 40 and have lived here from being born.”
Fish shop customer Andy Clarke said he was ‘disturbed’ by Saturday’s crime and would be telling his wife and 20-year-old daughter to be careful. “It’s normally quite a peaceful area,” he added.
Police say they are treating the four crimes with ‘an open mind.’ On December 19 a man stole cash from a store on Highfield Road, Idle, after threatening staff with a knife. On December 28 a woman was robbed on her doorstep in Clara Road, Wrose, by a man with a knife.
On January 1 another shop, Quix News, on Wrose Road, Wrose, was targeted by a skinny man with a knife. He took £1,000.
Saturday’s attacker was described was dressed in black and wore a balaclava.
The owner of Five Lane Ends Post office, Amarpreet Dhesi, said: “It’s very disturbing. I’m worried that somebody could be killed.”
Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Lab, Windhill and Wrose) said: “It’s extremely concerning. Everybody ought to be aware.”
Detective Inspector Rick Partis said patrols had been increased. “Idle remains a safe place to be and I can assure local people that we are working extremely hard to trace those responsible,” he said. “CCTV inquiries are also currently ongoing and we have released an image from the footage.”
Call Airedale and North Bradford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.