A STUDENT who witnessed a brazen afternoon carjacking in a South Belfast street has described a “struggle” between the terrified female car owner and four thugs who pulled her from her luxury vehicle.

The incident took place on Monday at around 4.40pm in Chadwick Street off the Lisburn Road, where a blue Porsche Boxter was stolen. Close to a nearby Tesco supermarket, the street is often busy with cars coming and going. The four tracksuit-wearing hoods struck just before the area was becoming crowded with drivetime traffic.

Speaking to the South Belfast News, a young female student who called the police following the hijacking said the theft had left her “shocked” as the street is usually quiet.

“I had just left the house to make my way up to Tesco and saw four guys I didn’t recognise walking on the pavement just ahead of me,” said the girl, who did not wish to be named.

“I’d never seen them in the area before but didn’t think much of it until they approached the distinctive Porsche car which was parked just up the street towards the Lisburn Road. A woman was sitting in the driver’s seat and one of the guys knocked her window. As she opened the door, they grabbed her and pulled her out.

“As this happened one of the men was reaching in to grab the keys from the ignition. They managed to pull her out but there was a struggle as it happened. I was looking around to see if there was anyone who could help, but couldn’t see anyone so I rang 999.”

The Porsche Boxter, which can cost up to £38,000, is a two seater vehicle, meaning two of the thieves were forced to flee on foot. The student witness added: “Once the woman had given up the struggle, two jumped into the car and sped off and the other two ran off towards the Lisburn Road.

“The woman was very upset as you can imagine and we waited until the police arrived 20 minutes later. I’ve never seen anything like this since living here and can’t believe it happened so openly. They did it even though they knew I was just behind them so they didn’t care if anyone saw them.”

Another Chadwick Street resident, Genu Abraham, told this paper: “I didn’t see the theft, but I’ve always assumed it was a safe street. There have been times when I hadn’t even locked my car properly, but I’ll make sure to do so from now on.”

Police said the car was found on fire in the Albert Street area of West Belfast, less than two hours after the theft, and have appealed for anyone with further information to come forward.