Shopper's warning to others after narrowly avoiding city carjacking
A Belfast shopper was left in shock after she narrowly escaped a car hijacking on her way home from the city centre.
Kaleena Morelli from Poleglass had just been for lunch with friends at CastleCourt shopping centre on Saturday afternoon when the frightening incident happened.
After driving out of the multi-story car park alone at 4pm she was approached when she stopped at the first set of traffic lights.
"I was looking around for a bottle of water in my car when there came a knock on my driver's side window," she said. "There was a man there who said the boot of my car was open and it might annoy the drivers behind me."
Before Kaleena could react, the man had made his way to the back of the car to try to open the boot.
She called the individual "polite at first, but when he couldn't open the boot I could feel the car bouncing up and down at the back".
Kaleena said she believes that the man was trying to lure her out of the car.
"And really if I wasn't at the traffic lights I would have," she added.
After failing to open the car boot, the man fled.
She said: "It was only afterwards when I moved on to the second set of traffic lights that I realised what might have actually been happening.
"I immediately phoned my dad and told him. He just said to come home. We checked the boot and there was definitely nothing wrong with it."
Although there was nothing in her boot to take, she said it would be a different story for many of the Christmas shoppers.
"It's definitely shook me up. I'm very trusting and it's made me slightly frightened that I may not be able to trust people who may genuinely be trying to help me."
She describes the man as in his 30s or 40s and about 5ft 6-7ins.
"He was quite well dressed in jeans and a T-shirt," she said. "He wouldn't have raised alarm bells if you were passing him on the street. He wouldn't have looked suspicious."
Kaleena said that she did ring the police 101 number but it was busy at the time. "He had ran away as quick as I could see him so I didn't think the police could do much about it, so I thought the best thing to do would be to put it up online to make people aware."
Posting the warning on her Facebook page, her post quickly went viral and was shared by over 15,000 people.
In a further warning, Kaleena said she would urge people to keep their car doors locked while out driving in busy city centre traffic and added that "24 hours after putting the warning up online I've had so many messages of support from strangers and it's nice to see there's so many nice people out there."