Gang of youths target woman in latest Belfast hijacking

PSNI
PSNI

Detectives are appealing for information following a vehicle hijacking in the Albert Street area of west Belfast – the latest such crime in which a woman has been targeted in the city.

The crime unfolded on Sunday, sometime between 5pm and 5.10pm, when a woman parked her car in the street and was then approached by a number of male youths.

They took her car keys and drove off in the car; a blue Ford Focus.

The car was recovered later that evening in the Fort Street area of west Belfast.

Albert Street, where the car was taken, is in the republican lower Falls district, not far from St Peter’s Cathedral.

Detective Constable Gary Crothers said in a statement: “I would ask anyone with any information about this incident to contact detectives at Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 886 of 20/11/16.

“Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

It is just the latest in a string of carjackings in the city and its surrounding areas.

It appears that, in most cases, women are targeted by the hijacker or hijackers.

Just one day earlier on Sunday, Sinn Fein MLA for west Belfast Jennifer McCann issued a statement condemning those who she said had “pulled a woman from her car on the Pembrooke Loop Road in Poleglass”, a republican district to the south-west of the city.

She said the culprits were three men, and that the female victim had been alone.

In that case, the PSNI said: “It was reported that around 6.45am a woman was driving into Pembroke Loop Road from the direction of Colinbrook when a male ran in front of her car causing her to stop.

“Another male opened the drivers door and forced her from the car.

“The two males, along with a third accomplice, then got into the car and drove off along Pembroke Loop Road. The woman, aged in her 30s, was left very shaken by her ordeal.”