herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Baby girl in the back seat as tourists carjacked by junkie in Phoenix Park

The family was targeted as they were leaving Phoenix Park
The family was targeted as they were leaving Phoenix Park

A one-year-old baby girl was in the back seat of a rented SUV when it was stolen by a crazed junkie.

Gardai have recovered the Nissan Qashqai that was taken from tourists in the shocking knifepoint carjacking.

The parents of the baby are doctors, both aged 32, based in Liverpool, who had been visiting Dublin's Phoenix Park when the crime occurred, at around 11.15pm on Sunday.

The incident happened as the couple were driving out of the park at Conyngham Road, Islandbridge.

As they exited the park, a man approached them and pulled the driver and passenger from the car at knifepoint.

He then jumped into the driver's seat and drove away.

It was only moments later that the hijacker realised there was a one-year-old child strapped into a seat in the back of the vehicle.

He then stopped the car and demanded that the couple take the child out, before driving away.

While no one was physically injured in the hijacking, the couple were said to have been left extremely shaken.

The Herald can reveal that the vehicle was found yesterday morning in the Cork Street area of the south inner city - a 10-minute drive away from where the carjacking happened.

The Nissan Qashqai was being forensically examined last night and a senior source told the Herald that detectives are "confident" that an arrest may be made in the case before the end of the week.

"There is excellent quality CCTV that is being trawled through in relation to this investigation," the senior source said.

Dreadful

"The victims have given a very good description of the suspect, who is believed to be aged between his mid-20s into his early 30s.

"The feeling is that he got freaked out after he committed this dreadful crime and may have believed that someone had seen him, which led him to abandon the vehicle on a road off Cork Street.

"This is clearly the behaviour of someone who has serious drugs issues and an arrest is likely in this case."

Gardai said that they believed the young family were in Dublin for a short holiday.

"Thankfully, this is not a very common crime in Ireland but unfortunately in recent years there have been a number of incidents. But in almost every case, the perpetrator has been arrested and brought before the courts," the senior source added.

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