Stolen Brighouse van used for criminal damage rampage in Leeds

Recreation Street in Holbeck, Leeds
Recreation Street in Holbeck, Leeds

A vape shop was rammed by a stolen van and two other vehicles were set on fire during a spate of incidents in Leeds on Wednesday..

Vapes 4 U on Recreation Street in Holbeck was targeted by criminals in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when a stolen Mercedes Sprinter van from the Brighouse area was reversed into the shop and another nearby business, damaging both premises.

Police are investigating whether the incident was linked to an arson attack on Tempest Road in Beeston around half and hour earlier, when two parked vehicles were set on fire. The owner of one suffered burns to his hands when he tried to put out the flames.

West Yorkshire Police said: "Police are investigating a number of incidents of arson and criminal damage that occurred in the Beeston and Holbeck areas of Leeds.

"Shortly after 1am on Wednesday officers were called to Tempest Road where two vehicles parked in the street had been set on fire.

"A VW Passat and a VW Caddy van had been deliberately set alight and were extinguished by firefighters.

"The owner of one of the vehicles went to hospital for treatment to burns to his hands after initially trying to put out the fire himself.

"The incidents are being treated as arson and enquiries are ongoing.

"Detectives are looking into whether those incidents could be linked to further incidents of criminal damage and arson that occurred a short time later.

"At 1.25am, officers were called to Recreation Street, in Holbeck, where a Mercedes Sprinter van had been reversed into two separate business premises on the same street causing damage to both.

"An unsuccessful attempt was made to set the van alight outside the second business. Enquiries established the van had been stolen in Brighouse on August 20."

Detective Inspector David Roberts, of Leeds District CID, said: “Our enquiries are still at an early stage but we are looking into whether the two sets of incidents could be linked, given the close timings and proximity in which they occurred and the similar nature of them.

“We are carrying out extensive enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding them and we would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any part of these incidents or who has any information that could assist the investigation.

“Criminal behaviour like this cannot and will not be tolerated and we will be doing everything we can to identify those involved and bring them to justice.

“We recognise that these incidents will create an understandable level of concern in the community and we are working closely with our colleagues in the local neighbourhood policing team who are increasing their presence in the area to reassure people and keep them informed.”

Anyone who witnessed the incidents or who has any information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference 13180429531 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.