Belfast Telegraph

Another woman in Belfast carjacking ordeal

By Victoria O'Hara

Carjackers attempted to drag a woman from her car in the latest attack on drivers in Belfast.

The female driver was one of two more hijacking or attempted hijacking victims targeted - bringing the total to nine incidents in the past 12 days.

At around 9pm on Friday a man tried to pull the woman from her car in the Grosvenor Road area.

She refused to get out.

He then stole property from the rear of the car and made off.

The man is described as being in his early 20s and was wearing a dark-coloured hooded top with a light-coloured scarf over his face. He was also wearing jeans and white trainers.

In another incident on the same night in north Belfast a group of men bundled a driver into the back of his car, beat him and released him before driving off.

He was attacked in the Eskdale Gardens area at about 7.30pm.

The car was discovered on fire a short time later in the Rosapenna Street area.

The surge in attacks has led to warnings from police for women drivers to keep their doors and windows locked.

On Friday a woman had just parked in the John Street area of the city centre when she was ordered out of her car by a man who then sped off in the vehicle.

Over the past 12 days a woman was dragged from her Porsche Boxster by a four-man gang in the Chadwick Street area of south Belfast; a female was ordered from her car by two men in Hardcastle Street; a 15-year-old youth was arrested after allegedly hijacking a woman's car at Rugby Road; a female was hit in the face when her car was hijacked by a man on the Shankill Road, and a taxi driver had a screwdriver held to his throat during an attempted hijacking in north Belfast.

Police have been unable to find a link between the recent attacks, and therefore suspect they are the work of copycat thieves.

Alliance South Belfast MLA Anna Lo (above) has expressed her outrage at those behind the attacks.

"The police must divert more resources to combating this type of crime," she said. "I would urge drivers to take precautions such as locking their doors and keeping windows closed."

SDLP policing spokesman Conall McDevitt said basic security measures need to be followed while driving in city traffic.

"The nature of these attacks is opportunistic but following the basic procedures, especially in slow moving or stopped traffic and at junctions, will help keep you safe," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact CID at Tennent Street on 0845 600 8000, or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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