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Alert is issued after three carjacking bids in Belfast

By Deborah McAleese

Published 10/02/2016

Concerned: Jonathan Craig
Concerned: Jonathan Craig

Belfast motorists have been warned to be vigilant after three drivers were targeted in terrifying attempted hijackings on Monday night.

A woman managed to escape after a man with a scarf covering his face tried to pull her from her vehicle in the York Road area.

Her attacker opened the driver's door as she prepared to exit York Parade on to York Road shortly before 8.30pm.

He attempted to pull her out, but the woman managed to drive off.

Police said the woman was not injured, but was left very badly shaken by the attack.

Less than two hours later police received reports of attempts to hijack two cars at a car park in nearby Corporation Street. At around 10pm two males on a blue motorcycle drove into the car park.

One of them approached a car and ordered the male driver to get out. He tried to open the car door but the male motorist managed to drive off. The driver of another car was then approached by one of the males, who was armed with a screwdriver.

He banged on the window of the motorist's car but the driver managed to get away.

Police believe that both males left the area on the motorcycle and headed in the direction of Thomas Street.

Detectives are looking at a possible link between the two incidents.

Over the past seven years there have been several police operations aimed at tackling the growing problem of carjacking in the city.

Last month a woman was left traumatised after being forced out of her vehicle by a gang of four men in the Twinbrook area.

Three men climbed into the back of the Honda Accord while a fourth opened the driver's door and forced her out before driving off in it.

"Carjacking is still a problem across Belfast. It was very bad a few years ago when, for about a month, we seemed to have at least one every night," said Policing Board member Jonathan Craig.

"Thankfully that was brought under control, but it is still a matter of concern."

The DUP MLA added: "This is a very frightening crime. I would urge all motorists to be extra vigilant. Try to park in well-lit areas and ensure your door is locked when you are in the car."

Police have asked anyone who may have witnessed any of these incidents to contact detectives at Musgrave PSNI station on the non-emergency number 101.

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