A COUPLE last night described the terrifying moment a violent and armed gang of car thieves forced their way into their home and threatened to stab them.

Darren and Frances Glover were watching television when four masked men burst in after smashing through a security door lock at their home in Bolton Drive, Eccleshill, Bradford.

Mr Glover, 44, tried to force them out but backed down after being threatened with a screwdriver and then punched.

His wife, 39, was screaming in terror as their ten-year-old son listened to the commotion from his bedroom.

They were forced to hand over the keys to Mr Glover's £26,000 Mercedes Benz A200 AMG sport which he had only recently bought.

Mrs Glover said: "I was just petrified. I have never been that scared. I didn't know what they were capable of."

One of the masked raiders demanded her handbag, telling her: "Shut up, get down on your knees or I will stab you."

The couple and their son have been left distraught.

"Our son has been very quiet and won't sleep," said Mrs Glover. "He said 'Daddy, keep me safe'."

Mr Glover has urged owners of upmarket cars to follow police advice and take extra precautions.

The robbery, shortly afterwards 10pm on Monday, is one of six similar incidents across West Yorkshire where high performance cars were taken over two days this week.

A Bradford-based gang is thought to be behind the raids.

The six locations where the robberies took place

On Tuesday a similar incident left Mark and Lucy Henzell terrified in their home in Langley Lane, Baildon.

The couple had to beg raiders not to go into their baby daughter's bedroom.

Audi sales manager Mr Henzell said he and his wife, who had been in the bath and was wrapped in just a towel, were desperate to shield the tot from the horror they were experiencing.

Mr Henzell, 31, said: "We'd just put our baby to bed when we heard two very loud bangs. I can only describe it as fireworks or a shotgun going off in the kitchen.

"I heard shouting and hopped out of bed and was going downstairs when two men in ski-masks were coming up. I saw a screwdriver and end of a pool cue.

"Lucy had got out of the bath and we were all stood on the landing. We were trying to protect our daughter. We begged them not to go into her room. She's only one and didn't need to see that kind of thing."

The men ordered the couple into their bedroom and told them if they did as they were told, they would not be hurt.

Mr Henzell said: "I didn't know what to do. All sorts of thoughts were going through my head. I was worried about my family, my baby girl and my wife. She was just in a towel. I didn't know whether to go for them or do as they said.

"One of the men had the pool cue right in our faces and was was waving the screwdriver around while the other was ransacking the place. He was tipping our drawers out on the bed, he emptied my wife's handbag, got cash and got her jewellery box, her wedding and engagement rings, a lifetime of sentimental stuff.

"He tipped stuff into a pillowcase and demanded to know where the car keys were. A third man who'd been searching the house downstairs then appeared.

"We told them where the keys were and they told us to sit down and shut up and not move. Then they left.

"It must've just been seconds when I went to the window but the car had already gone and we rang the police."


Detectives traced Mr Henzell's Audi Q7 company car quickly to the Laisterdyke area of Bradford, he said but there was no trace of any of the stolen cash or jewellery.

The horrific ordeal has left the family struggling to feel safe in their own home and come to terms with why they were targeted.

"We will get more lights and more security and we will need to build some confidence to be in our home.

"If we had not been in at the time or if we had caught them breaking in at 2am then perhaps we could come to terms with it more, but it was only 7pm. Langley Lane is a busy road, people were still coming home from work at that time. It's the brazenness of these people and their brutality that will hang on."

Police, who have formed a team of specialist detectives to hunt down the gang, said gang members had been armed with knives, screwdrivers and pool cues.

A 26-year-old Bradford man has been arrested and was in custody yesterday.

The first crime took place at about 6.40pm on Monday when a silver Volkswagen Golf GTi was stolen from the driveway of a property in Woodlands Crescent, Gomersal, after two men threatened a 42-year-old man with a knife.

The men are believed to have been accompanied by two other men in dark clothing, who left the scene in another vehicle.

Police appealed for a dog walker who was nearby at the time to get in touch.

The man was seen walking a small dog in Woodlands Crescent, Gomersal, at about 6.45pm on Monday.

Detective Inspector Ryan Bragg, of Bradford District CID, said: "We believe this man may have vital information which may be of assistance and we would urge him to contact us on 101, quoting log *1227 of 4 January."

About two hours later at an address in Tyersal Park, Bradford, a blue Vauxhall Insignia was stolen after a man was threatened with a screwdriver and punched.

This was followed by the theft of the Mercedes belonging to the Glover family in Eccleshill.

At about 6pm on Tuesday, four men forced entry into a property in Lumb Bottom, Drighlington, and made threats to the occupants before taking a black Audi A4 estate car.

About an hour later, raiders took the Audi Q7 after threatening the Henzell family in Baildon.

Then at 9pm, four men entered a house in Rooks Close, Wyke, where a woman was punched in the face before the keys were stolen to a silver Mercedes-Benz E250 car.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Hooks, said: "There are a number of similarities involved in each of these incidents, and a team of specialist detectives is investigating these under one large-scale inquiry.

"Inquiries are at an early stage with regard to who the suspects might be and any vehicles which may have been used, but officers are already following up a number of leads.

"Resources have been drawn from each district to help with the investigation and public reassurance, and officers will be happy to speak to any residents about any concerns they may have.

"The level of violence used in these offences is clearly of concern, and we are committed to keeping the public safe, so we would ask anyone who has any information about any of these offences to contact Bradford CID on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."

DCI Hooks urged owners of upmarket vehicles to be vigilant and take appropriate precautions.

He said the gang had used a "serious level of violence and created an inordinate amount of fear."

  • UPDATE: A 39-year-old man from Bradford has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and remains in custody, a police spokesman said this morning. The 26-year-old man arrested yesterday has been released on bail.