Couple with baby and young woman in Belfast carjack ordeals
A woman had her car taken from her at knifepoint and a couple with an 11-month-old baby were left traumatised in two separate carjacking incidents at the weekend.
Police have launched an investigation into both terrifying events which have raised fears over the continuing sourge of hijacking.
The young family managed to stop their car being taken from them but the woman's car was stolen after she was ordered out of it at knifepoint outside her home.
The couple, who are both in their 30s, were driving along the Stewartstown Road on Friday night with their baby in the back seat.
At around 8.25pm a black Alfa Romeo boxed the car in before someone got out and ordered the father, who was driving, to open the door. The man refused and managed to reverse his car away from the scene to escape.
None of the victims was hurt during the attempted hijacking but they were left badly shaken.
The Alfa Romeo car was discovered outside a house in Caffrey Avenue in Andersonstown the next morning before a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted hi-jacking and related offences. He remained in custody last night assisting police with their enquiries.
Meanwhile, a woman is recovering after she was targeted in north Belfast just after 10am yesterday. She was threatened and ordered to get out by a man as she pulled up to her Victoria Gardens home.
The man, who was brandishing a Stanley knife, then made off in her silver Honda Jazz towards Cave Hill.
The woman was unhurt but also left badly shaken by the incident.
Police arrested a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old after reports that a silver car had hit two parked cars in Inver Avenue and was spotted being driven erratically in the Ross Road area.
SDLP councillor, Colin Keenan, condemned the incidents and warned people to be on their guard.
"I would urge people to contact police if they have any information on this incident. My thoughts are with those involved, it is a frightening enough experience but having a young baby in the car just makes it all the more terrifying," he said.
Anyone with information that could be of assistance is asked to contact police on the new non-emergency number 101.
Story so far
The level of carjackings has risen in recent years as thieves find it harder to break in and drive away vehicles with modern security measures. Women have been a particular target for car thieves using threat and force to steal a car while it's being used. There were two incidents in Belfast over the weekend, including one involving an 11-month-old baby travelling with its parents.