£ 3,000 wages taken in latest violent robbery

A KNIFEWIELDING robber stole more than £3,000 in staff wages in the latest armed robbery to hit North Kirklees.
The victim was walking towards the Signature Beds factory in Thomas Street, Batley, with the cash at around 10.50am last Friday when he was attacked.
A silver VW Passat mounted the pavement and blocked his path, before a masked front seat passenger jumped out and threatened him with a knife.
The 32yearold man, who suffered a hand injury in the attack, tried to run but was pulled to the ground and had the cash grabbed from him. The suspect, an Asian man with a stocking over his face, raced back to the car which then sped off towards Blakeridge Lane.
The Thomas Street incident is the latest of several armed robberies across North Kirklees in recent months. 
Around £3,000 was snatched in an attack on an offlicence manager in Birstall last month. Four suspects were quickly arrested. A Batley family were locked in the basement of their own home by armed raiders who stole thousands in cash and jewellery in August.
There was an attempted ramraid the same month on Dewsbury’s Santander branch by masked robbers, one of whom had a shotgun. A quantity of cash was also stolen from Carrigill’s bookmakers in Earlsheaton by two men armed with a knife and a metal bar.
Residents from around Batley attended a meeting at the Al Hikmah Centre last month to discuss crimerelated issues with police. It was organised in the wake of September’s shootings in Staincliffe and Batley Carr, but covered a host of other topics.
Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley West) said of the Signature Beds incident: “I’m really sorry this firm’s been hit. Anyone who knows something shouldn’t be afraid to come forward and tell the police. There should be zero tolerance of crime.
“I know the police take these crimes very seriously and are doing all they can to protect people’s homes and premises.
“The Al Hikmah Centre event shows what can be done. It’s a great example of the police, the council and the community working together.”
Police denied armed robberies are on the rise and a spokesman said: “Robberies where offenders carry weapons have always taken place.
“So we are not suffering an increase in this type of crime. But they are extremely serious offences and we treat them with the utmost importance.”
The Passat driver and other occupants in the car in this latest incident are all described as Asian, and police enquiries are continuing. Witnesses can call DC Jim Rudge or DS Ian Thornes at Dewsbury CID on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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