A CASH machine was blown out of the wall in the eleventh serious raid or robbery at a Co-Op in the Bradford district in the space of just 10 months.

At about 12.15am yesterday, police said they received reports of an “explosion” at the Co-Op store in High Park Drive, Heaton, Bradford.

Officers attended the scene of the blast and found the cash machine had been taken.


Reports suggested a silver Mitsubishi had been used in the offence.

A vehicle matching this description was located a short distance away and has been recovered for further tests.

The latest raid comes amid renewed efforts by the Co-op to fight back against criminals who target its stores.

In recent months, Co-op started the roll-out of Smartwater fog cannons, which are designed to deter crime by deploying a dense fog to obscure vision while linking criminals and stolen goods back to the scene of a crime.

An eyewitness to the incident, a Mr Stevens, contacted the Telegraph & Argus to tell us what he’d seen on his way to an early morning shift.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The damage left behind after the cash machine was stolen from the Heaton Co-Op yesterday morningThe damage left behind after the cash machine was stolen from the Heaton Co-Op yesterday morning

He said: “We could see a vehicle attempting to rip the cash machine out.

“It was very dark though and we couldn’t see too much as we were driving up the hill towards Bradford Royal Infirmary.

“Police seemed to be out quickly, possibly due to someone calling them while the raid was in progress or due to the alarm ringing. This area is getting worse for crime.”

Another resident on his way to work, Ali Ahmed, confirmed that there was still a police presence at the scene at 7am.

Councillor Mohammed Amran (Labour, Heaton) felt the incident was the tip of the iceberg in his ward. He said: “I’m constantly asking the police to put more time and resources into the Heaton ward.

“Residents have been complaining about crime and anti-social behaviour and I’m concerned about what’s actually being done to combat it.

“The incident left the Co-Op shut all day which has been a real inconvenience.

“People are scared too. I’ve had people in my ward ringing me up frightened all day.

“Yes it was just a cash machine but someone could have been injured at the bus stop or run over by the car as it got away. People are saying a Mitsubishi Shogun was used.

“Heaton is normally a lovely place but at the moment, as a councillor, I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall.”

Cllr Amran said he had heard that Co-Op were considering taking out their cash machines from the front of stores.

The Heaton robbery is the latest in a string of incidents in which criminals have targeted Co-Op stores in the district.

The Queensbury store was robbed on July 27 last year, before axe-wielding raiders targeted it on March 19 this year.

Birkenshaw’s Co-Op was targeted by two raiders on August 1 last year, one of whom was wielding a hammer.

Next in the firing line was the Drighlington store on August 27. A violent robbery there involving three men left a woman seriously injured.

Two men robbed the Saltaire Co-Op in November, using a screwdriver as a weapon.

This year there were five incidents in March alone. Four men threatened staff at the Wibsey Co-Op on March 7, before the aforementioned Queensbury incident 12 days later.

Five men armed with axes stole money from the Denholme Co-Op on March 21, before axe wielding robbers struck again at the Wilsden store on March 24.

The Scholes Co-Op was subject to a ram raid on March 30.

The Denholme store suffered a second attack in a month when it was robbed on April 22, and that was the last incident until the Heaton Co-Op was targeted yesterday.

Councillor Nussrat Mohammed (Labour, Heaton) did not feel that crime was as rife in her ward as Cllr Amran did, but she admitted that there were small pockets of it. She said councillors were tackling it alongside PCSO’s in the area.

The Co-Op did not provide a response to the Telegraph & Argus before we went to press.

Bradford District CID are continuing enquiries and anyone who can assist is asked to contact them on 101, quoting log 14, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.