MASKED raiders struck at a building society near one of Huddersfield’s busiest roads.
Two people tried to rob the Yorkshire Building Society on Acre Street in Lindley at 4.11pm yesterday.
The raid took place close to Bay Horse roundabout and the area was busy with traffic and passersby at the time.
Sandy Uppal, who works at King’s Fish and Chips next door to the building society, saw them go in.
“I was putting some food in the fryer when I saw two people going in wearing masks,’’ she said. “One of them was slim and I’m not sure if it was a man or a woman.
“The police cars arrived about 10 minutes later at 4.20pm.”
The thwarted robbers are both thought to be men and it is thought at least one of them was armed.
They wore hoods and masks.
The pair were foiled when the building society’s shutter sprang up so they were unable to confront staff or reach across to grab cash.
They ran off empty-handed.
Laurence Hopkins lives off Acre Street just yards from the scene. He tried to go into the building society a few minutes after the attempted robbery.
The 73-year-old said: “I went to the door and there was a lady there. I don’t know if she was staff. She said I couldn’t come in because there had been a robbery.
“I could see that the security shutter had come down at the counter.
“The security must be first-class which will be a relief to the staff. I’m pleased for them because they’re nice people.”
Mr Hopkins, who used to run Laurie Hopkins Menswear on Acre Street, has lived in the area for 30 years.
“It’s very busy here but it’s a very safe area,’’ he said. “I’m so surprised that this has happened.”
Derek Devlin lives on Brian Street, further along Acre Street. The retired grocer visits the Yorkshire Building Society regularly.
The 72-year-old said: “I happened to see three police cars and an ambulance come here about 4.20pm so I knew something serious had happened.
“I was in the building society only two hours earlier and everything seemed OK. I know some of the staff. When I saw the ambulance I wondered if something had happened to one of them.”
Police cordoned off the entrance and also taped off a grey door about 20 yards away between Marcus Sewell Hairdressers and Tinderbox Bookmakers.
A police dog unit arrived about 5.30pm and searched the area immediately around the building society.
Police forensics officers were also at the scene.
Anyone with information about the attempted robbery can call Huddersfield CID on 01484 436680.