A BUSINESS couple say they are living in fear after they received death threats before having their vehicles burned out in a terrifying arson attack.

Jeeta Heer and his wife Rajinder, who own the Costcutter store in Leeds Road, Windhill, Shipley, are now considering offering a reward for information to help catch the perpetrators.

Their silver Peugeot 307 car and white Ford Escort van were burned out when they were set alight in Wood End Crescent, behind the shop premises, after 3am on Sunday.

The couple live in a house adjoining the shop and rent flats behind and above the commercial premises.

Nobody was hurt in the blaze, but Mr Heer said yesterday: "This is a really serious matter.

"We received phone calls with threats to kill us. We don't know who is doing this, or why. We know everybody in the community. We have been here nearly 30 years and have never had a problem with anyone.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jeeta Heer with the burned remains of his Ford Escort van

Jeeta Heer with the burned remains of his Ford Escort van

"My wife feels frightened but we don't want to move. The community is fine, it's just a few people that are the problem. We are not going to be driven out."

Mr Heer said it was possible the arson attack and threats had something to do with his tenants, but there was also a drugs problem in the area.

Fire crews were alerted at 3.40am on Sunday.

The couple's daughter, Nicky, 42, said it was not a random attack.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jeeta Heer with his fire-damaged Peugeot

Jeeta Heer with his fire-damaged Peugeot

"They received a number of phone calls on Saturday evening, threatening them. The caller said they would kill or burn them," she said.

"The vehicles were just a few yards from the buildings.

"A neighbour heard the car alarm and went out and saw the car on fire and called the fire brigade.

"The vehicles were burned out, but if the neighbour had not discovered it, it could have been catastrophic."


She said the family was prepared to offer a cash reward for any information that could lead to the prosecution of the perpetrators.

Miss Heer said there had been a number of previous incidents where her parents' vehicles tyres had been slashed in previous months.

But her father said he did not believe those incidents were linked to the arson attack.

He said footage from CCTV cameras showed three young males going across Leeds Road from Alma Street and behind the building in Wood End Crescent.

Police are now studying the footage.

Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Lab, Windhill and Wrose), said: "This is extremely serious and very, very frightening. I have had a lot of dealings with the couple and I know they are absolutely petrified.

"They are a genuinely nice, friendly and polite couple.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The fire-damaged Peugeot

"Clearly, somebody who lives within that community will know something about this incident and I plead with them to come forward before something really serious happens."

Inspector Hugh Robinson, of Shipley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said the police were keeping an open mind about the motive for the incidents and whether there was any link between the arson and the previous incidents of damage.

He added: "Clearly this was a targeted attack. It was very serious in nature and there could have been severe consequences from vehicles being set alight close to homes.

"We want to reassure the community that these incidents are treated seriously and will be investigated thoroughly. This was targeted at this family, and not at the community."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Bradford District Police via 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.