DETECTIVES are on the trail of a gang of armed robbers who kidnapped a teenager from his Co Down home in what police described as a “horrific ordeal”.
The 18-year-old man was at home with his father on Thursday night when three armed and masked men entered their house in Bangor around 10.15pm.
The gang threatened the pair and about 4 am on Friday morning, the teenager was placed in his family car and driven to a house in west Belfast.
He later escaped and raised the alarm.
Police said the registration plates on the family’s car, a grey Renault Laguna GJZ 9090, were changed for false plates before the abducted teenager was taken to a house Beechmount Parade.
The false plates fitted to the car during the robbery bore the registration number RJZ 6968.
A PSNI spokesman said that at around 7 am, a sum of money was passed to the occupant of the Renault Laguna at a filling station in the Ravenhill Road area of south Belfast.
A cash-in-transit vehicle was in the forecourt of the filling station at the time.
The car was then seen in College Square North in central Belfast before it was found abandoned in Ainsworth Avenue in the west of the city.
During this time, the teenager remained captive Beechmount Parade for more than four hours, before managing to escape about 09:30 GMT.
Detective Inspector Chris Wilson said: “This was a horrific ordeal for the father and son and the wider family circle.
“It was a planned and organised crime involving a number of persons and we are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who was in the College Square North or Ainsworth Avenue areas on Friday morning and saw the Renault Laguna or anyone acting suspiciously.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives on 02891 801 507 or ring Crimestoppers in confidence.