A TEN-year old girl had a lucky escape after a man attempted to steal her father's car while she was sitting in the passenger seat.

Colin Ashwood shared dramatic CCTV footage of the incident, which took place at around 9.20pm on Tuesday night at a Spar garage forecourt in the Tates Avenue area of South Belfast.

Colin had gone into the shop to pay for petrol when an individual got into the car, before quickly exiting the vehicle followed by Colin's daughter, who runs away.

The man then returns to the grey Seat Leon before speeding away from the garage.

Speaking to the South Belfast News, Colin said: "I had picked my daughter up from a local youth club and gone to the garage to fill up.

"I put the diesel in and went in to pay. Within a minute or so, my daughter came in shouting 'Daddy, daddy, someone is trying to steal the car.'

"By the time I got to the door, the car had sped off in the direction of Glenmachan Street. There is still no sign of the car.

"If my daughter hadn't have jumped out, God knows what would have happened.

"She's still in shock. I don't think it has quite hit her yet. She has been asking questions about why someone would want to do that. How do you explain to a ten year-old that someone wants to steal your car?"

The PSNI's Sergeant Adams said: “It was reported that a grey Seat Leon was taken from the forecourt of a petrol station in the Tates Avenue area of the city.

“A male was seen approaching the vehicle from the direction of Olympia Drive, and making off in it in the direction of Glenmachan Street.

“The suspect has been described as being approximately 5’ 10” in height, of slim build, and with light brown / ginger hair.

“He was said to be dressed in a grey top and blue bottoms.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and I am appealing to anyone who witnessed this incident, or who may have any information which could assist police, to call 101, quoting reference number 1782 of 11/01/22.

“A report can also be made using the online reporting form.

“Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online."