Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Schoolgirl's terror as hooded gang stole new car at knifepoint

Noelle McKenzie and Kevin McNally were threatened with a knife by the carjackers who seized Kevin's new Volkswagen Golf

A schoolgirl has told of her terror after hooded men threatened to stab her and her young boyfriend during a traumatic carjacking.

Noelle McKenzie and Kevin McNally had a blade waved in their faces by the men, who said they would hurt them if they didn't co-operate.

Miss McKenzie told the Belfast Telegraph she had been suffering panic attacks and been unable to sleep after her ordeal.

Mr McNally, a young apprentice, had bought the car – which he described as his pride and joy – just eight days earlier.

The couple, both 18, were targeted as they were parked on the Mill Road in Crumlin at 10.30pm on Tuesday.

Two men with hoods pulled over their faces flung open the driver's door and ordered them from the vehicle, a red Volkswagen Golf.

The couple said one of the men had a knife with a five-inch blade.

"It was really scary," Miss McKenzie said. "I have been having panic attacks since. I've never experienced anything like it before."

The teenager is currently studying for her A-Levels and said she had been unable to sleep following the carjacking.

The pair were forced from the vehicle after they had stopped in Crumlin to get something to eat.

"These two men just came up to the car and told us to get out. One had a knife, so we did what we were told," Mr McNally said.

"I'm still shaken up by it. They said if we didn't do what we were told they would stab us. We'd no choice but to get out."

The thugs told the teenagers they were members of the UDA.

Having forced the victims out, the thieves then sped off in the car.

Police believe the hijackers travelled to the area in a green Ford Focus, which was driven by a third man. The Ford was later involved in a collision with a white Seat at Flush Bend in north Belfast at around 10.55pm.

The driver fled the scene on foot while the Seat driver was taken to hospital for treatment.

Mr McNally added: "I only got the car eight days ago. I saved hard for it and now I'm back to square one."

Detectives want to hear from anyone who witnessed the hijacking or collision or from anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation.

Tuesday's incident was the second carjacking in Co Antrim in three days.

On Sunday evening a woman in her 40s was dragged from her car by two men in the Innis Walk area of Newtownabbey. The car, a Mitsubishi Colt, was later found burned out.

A spate of similar incidents across Northern Ireland in recent months has given rise to fears carjackers are once again targeting vulnerable motorists.

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