Armed police officers were called to Holbeck Wines & Spirits in Top Moor Side at 10.25pm last night (Tuesday) after the shop had been robbed by three men, one of whom was carrying what appeared to be a long-barrelled firearm.
One of the men waited at the door while two others entered the store and threatened a female member of staff before stealing three bottles of spirits.
The men ran off across the road into Holbeck Moor Park and despite a police search, the suspects escaped.
Detectives believe the raid is connected to two other robberies, the first of which took place on Saturday at Totesport bookmakers, also in Top Moor Side, Holbeck, shortly after 8.30pm.
A man armed with what appeared to be a shotgun entered the shop and threatened a member of staff and five customers who were ordered to lie on the floor. He took cash from the till and ran off.
And on Monday, shortly after 8pm, a man, again armed with what appeared to be a shotgun, entered the William Hill bookmakers in Beeston Road, Beeston, and threatened a female member of staff and demanded money. The woman locked herself in a back room and alerted police and the robber left empty handed.
Detective Inspector Amanda Wimbles, of Leeds District CID, said: “There are obvious similarities between the circumstances and locations of these robberies and we believe they are likely to be part of a series. Clearly they have been very frightening experiences for all of the victims.
“We are continuing to carry out extensive enquiries to identify the people involved and would like to hear from anyone who has seen anything suspicious in the vicinity of these offences around the times they occurred or who has any information that could assist the investigation.
“We recognise that there will be understandable concern in the community given the close proximity of these offences and the use of what has appeared to be a firearm. Officers from the local neighbourhood team are linking with local business and increasing their patrols of the area to provide suitable reassurance.
“We are also putting a proactive policing measures in place, with support from our armed response teams, to deter any further offences.”
Anyone with any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference number 13170129968 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.