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Four held in carjack murder probe

Four men are being questioned over the carjack murder of a garage owner, condemned by his family as a "senseless" crime.

Harjinder Singh Bhurji, 32, died in a pool of blood after being stabbed when he refused to hand over keys to his black Mercedes CLK coupe.

Three suspects - aged 20, 19 and 17 - were arrested on Wednesday morning on suspicion of murder and remain in custody.

A fourth man, originally arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods in relation to a separate matter, is also in custody after later being arrested on suspicion of murder.

The victim's best friend Gurmit Birdi, 32, said Mr Bhurji's family was "distraught", while Mr Bhurji's uncle, Narinder Shargill, said the attack was unimaginable.

Bachelor Mr Bhurji was sitting in his sports car talking to a female friend when a robber opened the passenger door and dragged the woman from the car.

The victim, who lived in Ilford, east London, initially tried to hide the car keys under his seat but the robber threatened to harm his friend if he did not hand them over. He was stabbed as he attempted to retrieve the keys before the thief drove off with the car.

Mr Birdi, a British Airways cabin crew member, said Mr Bhurji had been due to act as best man at his wedding in India on November 1. "He was a very nice person, he never did anything wrong. He lived his life and enjoyed his life, he was a happy person. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Mr Birdi said. "For his family and friends, this is just unbelievable. I can't even think straight, God knows what his family are going through."

Mr Shargill, who has flown to the UK from San Francisco to support the family, told ITV1's Daybreak: "My sister got married two weeks ago so the entire family was here from all over the world. It was a time of joy and celebration. Two weeks later to be in a state of mourning is just incredible. We just can't imagine something like this (would) happen. This crime is so senseless."

Murder squad detectives want to hear from anyone who saw the car, registration number R4 JXW, possibly driving at high speed, anywhere between Stoneleigh Road and Forest Glade, a journey of about three miles. Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8345 1570 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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