Hijacked car triggers hoax alert (UTV)

A hijacked vehicle was at the centre of a security alert in north Belfast on Tuesday morning which was later declared a hoax by police.

Police said the car involved – a Volkswagen Sharan – was hijacked in the Lenadoon area just after midnight. It was then found abandoned in the Hillview Road area at around 1am.

The Crumlin Road was closed between the Ardoyne shops and the Oldpark Road as examinations took place on the suspect vehicle during Tuesday’s morning rush hour.

Army bomb experts examined the car and carried out a controlled explosion while residents were evacuated from their homes.

All roads were reopened and residents returned to their homes just before lunchtime.

Belfast Councillor for the Greater Shankill area Brian Kingston said around 40 residents, including young children and the elderly, were forced from their homes at around 5am.

The DUP man said: “It seems a car was abandoned in the middle of the road with its hazard warning lights at around 3.40am on Tuesday morning on the Hillview Road off the Crumlin Road.

“Residents were not evacuated straight away but I understand a suspicious object – thought to be a beer keg – was then noticed in the back of the car by police which has resulted in the security alert and residents were evacuated around 5am from houses on the Crumlin Road and Tenant Street.”

North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said the hoax has caused a lot of disruption.

The Sinn Féin representative continued: “North Belfast is already tense because of attempts to create sectarian confrontation without the likes of this activity creating more tension.

“All that those responsible have done is force families from their homes in the early hours of the morning and disrupt people getting to work, school and going about their business.”

Investigating officers have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.


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