Women in their 50s and 80s badly shaken after hijacking on Derry and Strabane road; several female drivers targeted
Two women - one in her 50s and another in her 80s - were left badly shaken after their car was hijacked on the Derry to Strabane road last night.
The women were left standing at the side of the road in Magheramason after a man took their car which was found burned out in Strathfoyle early this morning.
The incident was one of a series of attempted hijackings of female drivers last night.
The PSNI believe the incidents were linked and that the car taken in Magheramason crashed in Ferguson Street in Derry before it was torched in Strathfoyle.
Detective Sergeant Connolly said: "We received a report just before 10.55pm last night (Monday, July 12) that the female driver of a white Peugeot had her car hijacked as she drove along Victoria Road.
"It was reported she stopped when she came across a white Vauxhall Insignia that was stationary and that a man was standing to the side of the vehicle. It was reported this male approached her car and shouted at the woman, who is aged in her fifties, to get out before he reached into the vehicle and tried to undo her seatbelt.
"The woman pleaded with the man that she needed time to get her passenger, a woman aged in her eighties, out of the car safely. When both the woman and passenger were out of the vehicle, the suspect drove off in it.
"This was a frightening ordeal for these two women, in particular for the older woman. While they weren't physically injured, they have both been left badly shaken by this terrifying incident.
"We believe the male involved in this incident is the same man involved in a number of attempted hijackings last night who is described as being around 6' tall, of a skinny build with dark hair and wore dark-coloured clothing."
At approximately 10.50pm last night it was also reported that the female driver of a white Polo stopped on the Victoria Road when she saw the white Vauxhall Insignia and white Peugeot on the road. The suspect is reported to have approached the Polo and tried the door handle, attempting to open the door.
"The driver of the Polo managed to get away. At the same time, the female driver of a Volkswagen Tiguan came on the scene. It was reported the suspect stepped in front of her vehicle to stop it, but she was able to drive away.
"We believe, at this time, the Peugeot that was hijacked was later involved in a collision in Ferguson Street in Derry/Londonderry, at around 11:05pm, and that the same car was reported as being on fire on Temple Road in Strathfoyle at 4:25am today (July 13). It was also reported a male tried to hijack another car in the area at this time, but that the female driver managed to get away safely.
"All of these incidents were distressing for those involved, and we are thankful no one suffered any physical injuries.
"As our enquiries continue, we are working to establish how the Vauxhall Insignia came to be at the scene and if it had been hijacked.
"We are keen to hear from anyone who may have captured the movements of both the white Vauxhall Insignia and the white Peugeot 2008 from 10:30pm onwards. We are also asking anyone who has information about any of these incidents to call our detectives at Strand Road on 101, quoting reference 2585 of 12/07/212," said DS Connolly.
A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org