Police have detained eight people thought to be behind a string of robberies involving jewellery shops over the past week.
Jewellers were targeted in Hebden Bridge, Halifax Town Centre and Brighouse over the course of the last seven days.
Kingston Diamond Merchants, Duranczyk T&G and Neimantas Jewellers were all hit in the raids, which took place in broad daylight. In one instance, bystanders intervened as the robbers tried to make their getaway, even though they were thought to be armed.
Detective chief inspector Chris Gibson of Calderdale Police said: “Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery following pre-planned policing operations across the district following three offences committed between Friday 24 and Thursday 30 June.
“Whilst there have been no physical injuries sustained during the incidents, clearly this has been very distressing for victims, and has caused understandable concern across the communities of Calderdale.
“We have a large number of officers dedicated to these enquiries. Criminals targeting our communities are not welcome on our streets and we will do everything within our power to detect offences, apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Detective Gibson thanked members of the public and local businesses owners around the targeted premises for their support and cooperation and for coming forward with information to assist with enquiries.
“I would also like to thank those in Brighouse on Thursday who made efforts to apprehend the suspects even though they were believed to be in possession of weapons, showing great bravery and selflessness, and true community spirit in their actions,” he said.
Those arrested, seven men aged 38, 36, 29, 27, 27, 22 and 20 and 16-year old girl, all from Calderdale remain in police custody.