Belfast Telegraph

Teenager dragged from vehicle in hijacking terror

By Patsy McArdle

Detectives have launched a major hunt for a cross-border gang that hijacked a 4x4 near a farmhouse and subjected a female teenager to a terrifying ordeal before dragging her out of the vehicle and throwing her unto the road.

The hijack took place at a dwelling near Castleblayney in Monaghan yesterday.

The driver had left the vehicle to go into a nearby house, leaving the young girl in the passenger seat.

According to gardai, three men in a dark-coloured car that was previously seen parked along a nearby road, drove up beside the jeep, and one of them jumped out, entered the vehicle and started it up, with the young girl inside.

After the frightened teenager refused to get out, the hijacker drove the 4x4 behind the car used by his accomplices a short distance, before stopping and forcibly dragging the screaming teenager from the vehicle, throwing her unto the road.

Apart from being severely shocked the young girl, from the immediate area, was uninjured.

Gardai at Monaghan immediately contacted the PSNI in Armagh following the hijack, after it was reported that the stolen vehicle was driven in the direction of the Keady border in south Armagh.

Detectives yesterday launched house-to-house inquiries in the area, in an effort to get a full description of the hijackers and the dark car they were using.

A Garda spokesman said: “The hijackers appeared to be waiting for the four-wheel vehicle to turn up at the house before they struck. It was obvious this was the type of vehicle they were seeking, as there were other cars parked in the area, any of which could also have been easily taken.

“The young girl in the vehicle suffered a very terrifying ordeal and it was lucky she escaped without injury.”

Last month, a number of vehicles were reported stolen in the Cavan area.

It is understood gardai believed these jeeps may also have been taken into Northern Ireland for possible export to Britain or the continent, with false registration plates.

Investigations continued yesterday in the Monaghan-Armagh border area into the latest incident, as gardai also warned the owners of such vehicles to step up security at their premises to prevent further similar thefts taking place.

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