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Thief jumps into mum's jeep in traffic

GARDAI hunting a carjacker who stole a 4x4 in broad daylight on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge are appealing for a taxi driver to come forward.

Gardai believe that a taximan in the area may hold the key to identifying the man.

The female 4x4 driver, who was on her own at the time of the incident, was knocked to the ground during the robbery but was not seriously injured.

The incident occurred at around 5.45pm last Friday as the blue 09 D-registered Hyundai Santa Fe Jeep stopped at a red traffic light on the north bound side of O'Connell Bridge, in Dublin city centre, intending to turn right onto Eden Quay.

The opportunist thief made his move when the woman got out to close an opened back door. The assailant then appeared out of nowhere, jumped into the large vehicle and sped off in the direction of Eden Quay.

The vehicle was recovered a short time later.

A number of witnesses have come forward and given evidence already but gardai are particularly anxious to speak to a taxi driver who was behind the wheel of a silver Toyota Corolla/Avensis Verso cab.

Officers believed he may have witnessed the hijacking. It is understood he had a woman passenger in his car and was driving north on O'Connell Bridge at the time.

A source told the Herald that they believed the taxi driver may hold the key to the investigation. "The appeal centres on this taxi driver and the information we can glean from him and his occupants," he said.

"Other aspects of the investigation are at a fairly advanced stage and that's the reason why we haven't released a description of the man."

A man was arrested in connection with the robbery but was released without charge.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information should contact Store Street garda station on 01 6668000 or the garda confidential line on 1800 666 11.