WEST Yorkshire’s Chief Constable diverted from a routine visit to the area to offer reassurance to a shopkeeper whose business was attacked twice in eight days by armed raiders.
Sir Norman Bettison was visiting the area as part of the force’s “Here for Good” campaign, meeting residents, community leaders and councillors in Bailiff Bridge and Rastrick.
But he diverted from his tight schedule to meet Steven Neimantas who runs a jeweller’s in Commercial Street to reassure him that police had several positive leads and were doing all they could to catch those responsible.
Mr Neimantas was opening his shop just after 9am last Friday when two raiders, one armed with a gun and the other with a sledgehammer, forced their way in. They escaped with rings, necklaces and bracelets.
The getaway vehicle, believed to be a Vauxhall Corsa, was later located in Harley Street, Rastrick.
Sir Norman said detectives believed the armed raid was linked to one the previous week.
Then, three masked men armed with sledgehammers smashed the front windows of the store before fleeing with jewellery in a silver Audi A5, later found in Lane Head Court, Brighouse.