Belfast Telegraph

Man kidnapped by hijacking gang

An armed gang beat a young Castlereagh van driver, stole his van and kidnapped him for half an hour, according to police.

Detectives are appealing for information about the hijacking during the early hours of last Thursday, August 2.

The driver was parked at Newton Park at around 2.30am when he was approached by five men who told him they were armed with guns. No weapons were seen.

The man, aged in his 20s, was put into a black Ford Focus car along with three men before being driven to a wooded area at Hannahstown Hill in west Belfast and released around half an hour later.

He was struck a number of times but did not sustain serious injuries.

Alliance Castlereagh Councillor Geraldine Rice said she was shocked by such a ‘vicious’ crime.

“To kidnap the driver, albeit for |thirty minutes, just to steal a van shows how callous these men must be. They |had absolutely no regard for the wellbeing of this man.

“This must have been a very traumatic experience for the driver of the van, and I hope that he is able to overcome his ordeal. I am very concerned that there have been several of these vehicle hijackings in the east Belfast area in the past six months.

“This latest hijacking is a very worrying development.

“Anybody who has any information about this attack should contact the police. I hope that they are able to catch these men before the carry out another hijacking.”

Anyone with information should contact detectives in Castlereagh by calling 0845 600 8000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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