A woman was dragged from her car as two men went on a rampage through Banbridge town centre on yesterday evening (Wednesday).
The hijacking occurred in the Church Square area of the town before they collided with several cars in the stolen vehicle – including a pregnant lady.
They crashed the car at the Newry Road roundabout in what police described as “pandemonium”.
“Our guys were quickly on scene, two minutes within the call coming on screen in fact, however weren’t as quick as the fastest response out there – you guys!
“The two suspects had tried to flee, however, were caught and restrained by brave members of the public who held them until we got there.
“Both were arrested for hijacking, aggravated TADA (vehicle theft) driving when unfit through drink or drugs, and one later for assault on police and resisting arrest.
“As part of this investigation we’re also looking into possible theft of a charity box which we recovered near The Coach, in a bin.
“We believe two males were seen a while before trying to smash it open. If you’re missing a charity box, we have it. Let us know!
“If you witnessed any of [these] events and have not yet given your details to us, Detective L is on the case and would love to hear from you.
“Whether it be in person, or your dash cam, we need all the witnesses we can get. Call 101 and tell them it’s in relation to incident 1060 of 24/01/18.
“Now to the people who made the arrests possible – WOW! Bravery beyond bounds.
“We frequently talk about the importance of working together…but we didn’t quite mean like that! Great job though.
“The chief doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll be hosting a thank you coffee and doughnuts morning in Banbridge station for that one! From the community, from us, THANK YOU!”
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has praised the public and the police for their quick response.
Speaking on the matter Ms Lockhart said: “At this stage we don’t know the full circumstances of the incident or how these thieves came to be in the town centre but my first thought is for the female motorist involved in this incident and those whose vehicles have been damaged as a result. This is a particularly frightening and horrific ordeal.
“I would commend the PSNI for their response but the members of the public who intervened deserve our thanks for the detention and subsequent arrest of two suspects.
“After subjecting the lady to the ordeal of losing her vehicle these two people then hit several others cars as they made their escape. Thankfully vigilant locals stepped in to prevent this.
“I am encouraged that the police were in the area at the time on patrol and that will reassure locals that Banbridge is receiving the attention promised.
“We need to see this maintained and more resources assigned to operational policing with incident like this and burglaries on the rise.”