NI lorry driver hijacked as trailer load is stolen

23/12/2004 - 14:03:41

A lorry driver delivering alcohol and cigarettes to a Northern Ireland supermarket was hijacked and held for six hours before being freed, it was revealed today.

The lorry driver – taking goods to Sainsbury’s in Derry – was flagged down by people in a car who indicated there was something wrong with his vehicle.

It happened on the Glenshane Pass, near Dungiven, Co Derry, at around 6pm on Wednesday.

When the driver got out to inspect his lorry and trailer he was confronted by a man with a gun and ordered back into his cab.

At gunpoint he was forced to drive on back roads half-way across the North, through Co Antrim and into Co Armagh.

Police said at Markethill in Co Armagh he was ordered to pull into a lay-by where he was put into the boot of a car.

He was released unharmed but shaken some time after midnight.

A police spokesman said that some time after dumping the driver the hijackers swapped the lorry tractor unit.

The original tractor unit was found near Markethill and the Sainsbury’s trailer – minus its load – at a roundabout on the main Portadown – Armagh road shortly before 7am today.

Police appealed for anyone who saw the lorry on its route across the back roads to contact them.

They also believe it suffered a puncture at some time during the night and asked for anyone who saw a wheel being changed on a trailer to contact them.

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