Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said: “In the first incident, in the Isoline Street area of east Belfast between 10pm and 10.30pm on Thursday night, a male driver was exiting his white Seat Ibiza car, when he was confronted by 2 males.
“One of the males was reported to have been armed with a handgun.
“The driver was forced back into his car and then placed into the boot of his own car and driven to an address in the Glenside Road area of west Belfast where he was tied up and left.
“The man managed to free himself a short time later however and contact police.
“At around 2.30am on Friday morning as two men alighted from a taxi in the Sandhurst Drive area of south Belfast, they were approached by three or four masked men.
“One of the masked men proceeded to assault one of the males and a firearm was produced.
“Demands were then made for the assaulted man to hand over belongings including an iphone.
“The masked males then made off in a white Seat Ibiza, which was found burnt out in Ardmonagh Parade in west Belfast at around 3.30am.”
“I believe both incidents to be linked.
“I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident in Isoline Street, the robbery in Sandhurst Drive or who saw the white Seat Leon being abandoned and set on fire in Ardmonagh Parade to contact detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference numbers 113 and 147 22/03/19.
“I would also ask anyone who has dash-cam footage of the Isoline Street area between 10pm and 10.30pm last night, the Sandhurst Drive area between 2.15am and 2.45am, or the Ardmonagh Parade area between 3:15am and 03.30am to contact us.
“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”