Carjackers target prestige vehicles
By Jano Gibson
August 15, 2005 - 1:42PM
Luxury vehicle owners in Sydney's eastern suburbs are being warned to
take extreme care after a spate of carjackings over the past 10 weeks.
Five top-range Mercedes-Benzes, two Porsches and a BMW have been
targeted by carjackers, who use the high-powered vehicles as getaway
cars in armed robberies.
At least two other non-prestige vehicles have been carjacked in Sydney
during the same period.
The owners of some of the most expensive vehicles on Sydney's roads
have been warned to be on the lookout for would-be carjackers.
"If you believe you are being followed, do not go to your home address
but divert to the nearest police station and report the matter,"
Detective Inspector Grant Taylor said.
The carjackers wait on the side of the road until a car that takes
their interest drives past, he said.
They then follow it to the owner's home and demand the car keys as the
prestige vehicles are too difficult to hot-wire, he said.
Seven carjacking-type offences had occurred in Sydney's east since June
1 - three of which were unsuccessful, he said.
The latest attempted carjackings occurred on Friday night when a gang
tried to steal a $450,000 Mercedes in Point Piper and a $185,000
Mercedes in Haymarket.
The driver of the Point Piper incident escaped from the gang by driving
his convertible to the Rose Bay police station.
A short time later, a man walking to a restaurant in Haymarket was
assaulted by two men who demanded the keys to his parked Mercedes.
He threw the keys to the ground after noticing one of the men had a
pistol, which was later found to be a replica.
But the carjackers had trouble starting the vehicle and fled after two
people jumped out of a taxi to intervene.
Police believe the incidents were linked as the carjackers in each case
got away in a Nissan Skyline.
On Thursday night, a $450,000 black Mercedes-Benz convertible, with
number plates MERC, was stolen by balaclava-clad carjackers after its
owner pulled up outside his Rose Bay home in New South Head Road.
About two weeks earlier, a $217,000 Mercedes was carjacked in the same
street. The blue two-door Mercedes was taken by four men wearing
Police believe the blue Mercedes was used as a getaway vehicle in
Waterloo on August 3 and in Hurstville on August 8 when thieves tried
to take ATMs after ram-raiding shops.
A blue Mercedes was found burned out in Canterbury following the
"It's believed that these vehicles are being stolen for utilisation in
other offences such as armed robbery. The cars are used as getaway cars
because of their power and performance," Detective Inspector Taylor
He said CCTV footage of the carjacking last Thursday was being analysed
and the replica pistol found in Haymarket was being forensically
In other attacks, a VW Golf sedan was carjacked in Concord on August 7;
a Porsche was carjacked in Randwick on August 6; a man had his arm
slashed after his van was carjacked in Ashfield on August 1; a $120,000
BMW was carjacked in Erskineville on July 7; and, a Mercedes was
carjacked after a home invasion in Paddington on June 1.
Detective Inspector Taylor said police were following up a number of
leads in relation to the carjackings.