A man was kidnapped and brought to a County Down car park where two men demanded money and threatened to burn him alive.
It was one of two harrowing incidents – police believe are connected – to happen in on Sunday evening.
Police are appealing for information and witnesses following reports of an attempted burglary and kidnapping in Newcastle.
Detective Inspector Johnston said: “We received a report shortly after 9.30pm that a man, aged in his 70s, had been assaulted and entry to his home was attempted in the King Street area of the town by another man. The suspect did not make it inside and made off from the location.
“It was then reported that a second man, aged in his 40s, also in the King Street area, was kidnapped by two males and brought to a carpark in the Oldtown Road area of Annalong after 9pm.
“The suspects demanded money before dousing him in fuel and threatened to set him alight. While the man was physically unharmed and no money was given, he is understandably very shaken.
“Two men, aged 36 and 31, have been arrested and remain in police custody at this time.
“As we continue with our enquiries to determine what occurred, I’m appealing to anyone with information about this incident to get in touch with us. In particular, we want to hear from anyone who was in the King Street or Oldtown Road areas after 9pm and noticed anything out of the ordinary, including any individuals acting in a suspicious manner, to contact us by calling 101 and quoting reference number 1754 24/04/22.”
A report can also be made online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/