Suspected burglar in Leeds escapes police by diving into sewer

West Yorkshire Police say they are 'very concerned' for suspect's safety

Police in Leeds say they are "very concerned" for a suspected burglar who escaped police by climbing through a storm drain and into the sewer.

Officers arrived at commercial premises on Mabgate, just outside the city centre, at around 11.30pm on Sunday, after receiving a call about a break-in.

Upon arrival, they saw two people leaving through the roof. It is thought one of them then entered the sewerage system through a nearby storm drain.

West Yorkshire Police have consulted specialists who have expressed concerns about the dangerous conditions in that part of the sewer system. They said they called experts from Yorkshire Water and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service who carried out a "detailed systematic search."

No-one has been found.

Superintendent Pat Twiggs, from City & Holbeck Division, said: "We can find no indication of that person having got out of the sewer safely and we are therefore very concerned for them due to the extremely hostile environment in the sewer.

"We are making wide-ranging inquiries to try to identify the individual involved but we would like to hear from anyone who has concerns that someone they know is missing and could be involved in this incident.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who has any information which could help us trace and locate anyone who may have been involved.

"I would like to reassure them that our primary focus is on ensuring the safety of those involved in this incident and the investigation into the burglary is completely secondary at this stage.

"I would hate to think that someone could be sitting on information which could help us to resolve this situation regardless of where they feel their loyalties lie."

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

It was not clear whether the other suspected burglar remained at large.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high