A female motorist was threatened at knifepoint and pulled from her car on the Buncrana Road on Friday evening during a horrific hijacking.
The victim had been returning to her car after leaving a local shopping complex when she was approached by four males who surrounded her vehicle and banged on her windows.
One of them opened the driver’s door and threatened her with a knife before pulling her from the car.
All four got in to the silver Megane and drove off in the direction of the border.
The incident comes just weeks after a spate of similar attacks targeting lone female drivers in Belfast.
The attack has led to calls for all female motorists in the city to be vigilant when driving alone.
SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan described the attack as a “worrying development.”
“I utterly condemn this attack,” he said.
“This is the first incident of its kind in Derry but we’ve seen a very highly publicised spate of carjackings in Belfast. I hope that the victim, in this case, recovers quickly from the shock as well as the loss of her vehicle. It’s important that these people are apprehended quickly.”
Sinn Féin Councillor and member of the local DPP Elisha McCallion said:
“This must have been a very frightening experience for this woman. It is the last thing anyone would expect happening to them outside a shop on one of the busiest roads in our city.
“My thoughts are with the victim of this crime and I wish her a speedy recovery.
“These crimes happen very quickly and are over in a matter of seconds. We have seen a spate of these types of incidents in Belfast over recent months and this is something that no one wants to see happen in Derry.”
Colr. McCallion continued: “My party colleague Paul Maskey MLA put a motion to the Assembly at the end of February calling on the Minister of Justice to respond to public concerns about the recent pattern of carjacking’s, particularly in relation to the role of prolific offenders and the conditions on which they are given bail; and further called on the Minister to develop and resource a strategy to curb this crime and engender public confidence.
“I would urge anyone with information on this incident, no matter how small it is to bring it forward to the police,” she said.
Police are appealing to a number of witnesses who were in the complex at the time and in particular two men who tried to stop the vehicle. Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information is asked to contact police at Strand Road on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.