Police helicopter deployed in burglary drama

A police helicopter was called to the rescue this week after a dramatic burglary in Hyde Park.

Police were called out late on Thursday evening to a house in Hyde Park Close as the burglary was taking place, after a tip off from a neighbour,

According to witnesses, the police arrived on the scene while the suspects were at the house. They then surrounded a property, however Leeds Student has been told that officers mistakenly surrounded the wrong house. The witness said that the suspects were spotted leaving the address that was being burgled a few doors away and that the police chased them on foot.

The West Yorkshire Police helicopter was then used to assist in locating the remaining suspect.

A police spokesperson told Leeds Student that three men have been arrested in connection with the incident, aged 18, 20 and 21. They have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The victims of the robbery, who are all studying at the University, said that they were left scared after the incident and had not left their house much since. One of the students who wanted to remain anonymous, told this paper about the incident:

“We were out at a meal and we got a phone call just as we finished. We came back and there was a police officer already in there [the house] preserving the scene”,
He added: “They [the intruders] stood on my bed – there’s muddy footprints all over it”.

A number of items were taken from the student residence, including an Apple Macbook Pro, several iPods and birthday money belonging to one of the students.

The robbery has also spooked many of the local residents. Farzana Hussian, who lives close to the house spoke to Leeds Student about her fears, “The helicopter was out and the police were out. It was scary you know, knowing that your home isn’t safe”. She added that the police were in the area afterwards knocking on doors to reassure the local community: “They were just giving simple advice saying not to tell anyone if you are going somewhere far, and make sure you keep your windows and doors locked”.

This news comes after a spike in the number of robberies in the Hyde Park and Headingley area over recent weeks, specifically late night burglaries. Though overall robberies are down compared to August and September last year.

PC Matt Guy, the University’s dedicated police officer, reassured local residents that they are working hard to keep students safe. He told Leeds Student that Neighbourhood policing teams are stepping up additional patrols in the Hyde Park area as part of Operation Optimal, working to reduce crime in North-West Leeds.

Words: James Greenhalgh and Rebecca Peartree

Photo: Leo Garbutt

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