The police have been pelted with bricks and bottles while trying to intervene in a so-called joyriding incident in west Belfast.
It happened in the Divis area of the city on Saturday night.
The car had been stolen from Galway Street, close to RBAI near the city centre, and brought to Divis.
There, a crowd had gathered to watch the car thief perform handbrake turns.
The vehicle was later taken to Roumania Rise where an attempt was made to burn it before police arrived.
In a post on social media, the PSNI said: “The crowd threw missiles at police including bottles and bricks.
“Let’s be clear the people doing this are criminals who are blatantly putting the life of every resident at risk.
“I spoke to the owner of the vehicle – who is a genuinely pleasant and nice young man who had his pride and joy wrecked by cowards.
“It was taken for the sole reason of death-driving.
“This type of behaviour needs to be stopped. This is a group of anti-community criminals who engage in this behaviour – we know who they are but need your help in putting them before a court.
“They need to seriously grow up, get a job and contribute something to society. It will end only one of two ways if they continue down this ridiculous path.
“Prison or death.”
The PSNI also said it would be stepping up patrols in the area in the run up to Christmas.