Residents of two Salford suburbs are fearing for their safety following a spate of carjackings by masked criminals.
The men are said to follow their victims around in their own vehicle before leaping out armed with knives, machetes and axes to threaten car owners into handing over the keys.
Earlier this month, a man who was attacked by three men in balaclavas and had his gray Mercedes stolen outside his home in Salford spoke out about the ‘mental scars’ the incident left on him.
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People in Broughton Park and Kersal held a meeting with police after four incidents of masked men armed with weapons took place in the neighborhoods this month.
Some residents are so concerned that they have hired a private security firm to keep an eye on the area and their cars.
Ward councilor for Kersal Ari Leitner says he has spoken to some victims of the carjacking who have been left ‘shaken’ by the incidents.
Coun Leitner told the MEN: “There have been four of these incidents and they’re all fairly similar. They’ll follow the driver around for a while and as soon as they exit the vehicle they jump out of the car with knives, machetes and axes. They’ll threaten the driver and say ‘give me the keys’.
“In at least one case there was a child in the car as well who exited together with her father and she’s obviously in a bad state. Thankfully in all the cases they’ve taken the vehicle and gone.
“We’ve been pressuring the police, it’s a gang that’s targeting the area and they’ve been seen out and about. The community wants to see a police presence.”
Coun Leitner, along with fellow councilors Andrew Walters and Arnold Saunders held a meeting with GMP on Wednesday, January 26.
He says the police promised to increase the number of patrols in the area.
Coun Walters, the Kersal and Broughton Park representative who recently tweeted about an incident involving a stolen car crashing on Bury New Road, said that this is the first time he has seen this level of violent crime in the area.
He echoed Coun Leitner’s plea for more police on the streets and advised people living in the area not to engage with the criminals who could be armed and dangerous.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News he said: “It’s always been a calm area, the worst we’ve ever had was a spate of burglaries which was one person and they got caught.
“People are really scared, we’ve never had any incident of violent crime at all in all the time I’ve been here, I’ve been here for 12 years. It’s been calm for the past 12-15 years at least so this has been a massive shock.
“This is a very very safe area, and in addition to this there’s been a massive increase in petty crime. Hopefully we’ll be more aware with what’s going on and what the police are doing because it’s really really concerning.
“All it would take is one person to try and be a hero and resists, and who knows what could happen? The only advice I can tell people is don’t try and be hero, don’t try and resist, just give them the keys and get out of it. “
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