Belfast Telegraph

Belfast carjack terror: Thief speeds off with woman inside

MLA demands tougher action on carjacking epidemic

By Patrice Dougan

A woman has been rescued from a car by members of the public in one of two vehicle hijackings in Belfast last night.

Stunned onlookers stopped a man from making off with the vehicle after he drove off with the shocked woman still in the passenger seat.

It is believed to be the first time in the recent spate of car hijackings that a woman has been driven off by the attacker.

It brings the total number of so-called carjackings to 11 in less than two weeks.

The criminal craze was last night dubbed “the new joyriding” by one Assembly member.

Yesterday’s first incident took place at around 5.15pm off the busy Lisburn Road in south Belfast.

A man, described as being in his late teens, got into a parked car and ordered the female passenger to get out.

When she refused, he drove off with the woman in the passenger seat beside him.

He made it only 20 yards before concerned passers-by intervened.

The man, along with two other men standing nearby, made off in the direction of Fane Street, close to the mainly loyalist Village area.

The woman passenger was uninjured in the incident, but has been left badly shaken.

The hijacker is described as being in his late teens, approximately 5ft 10ins tall and of slim build. He was wearing a light coloured T-shirt.

One accomplice was described as being approximately 5ft 8ins tall, with dark hair and wearing a blue hooded top.

In a second incident, three men approached a woman in the Donegall Street area at around 9.15pm and demanded the keys to her car.

They made off with the silver Ford Fiesta, found 15 minutes later crashed and abandoned at Norglen Parade, west Belfast.

The last two weeks have seen a woman dragged out of her Porsche Boxter by a four-man gang in the Chadwick Street area, close to last night’s Lisburn Road hijacking.

In other incidents, a woman was hit in the face when her car was hijacked on the Shankill Road and a taxi driver had a screwdriver held to his throat during an attempted hijacking in north Belfast.

The surge in recent attacks has prompted police to issue warnings to drivers — particularly women.

South Belfast MLA Jimmy Spratt said it was time the PSNI took hard action. “The police really need to start to get on top of this,” he said. “The police need to get more pro-active.

“I think this is the new buzz, the new joy-riding, but it’s very frightening.”

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