Gardai and AA warn female drivers of roadside robberies
GardaÍ and the AA have warned female drivers travelling alone to be extra vigilant when stopping on secluded roadsides.
The warning comes in the wake of a number of shocking incidents in recent months which include a knife-point high-jacking and a serious assault.
In one instance, a lone female driver is "still trying to come to terms" with an incident that occurred on a quiet country road during her early morning commute.
The woman was left "extremely traumatised" following the terrifying robbery that saw her being forced onto the bonnet of her own car.
The Waterford native, who is in her 40s, was travelling on a country road at Ballykeenan between Tramore and Waterford City at 8.20am when she heard a loud bang after something hit her car.
She stopped her vehicle to investigate what had happened and to see what had caused the bang.
However, soon after she came to a stop, she was "taken by surprise" and was immediately grabbed by a man who assaulted her.
The assailant, who spoke with an eastern European accent, pinned her to the bonnet of the car planting his elbow into the terrified woman's back.
It's understood that she was forced down with such velocity that her head hit off the bonnet causing injury. She was told not to take her head away from the bonnet and heard rummaging in her car.
A shoulder-bag was taken during the ordeal. Those responsible then fled the scene on foot and the woman was able to drive to a nearby residence where gardaí were alerted.
The woman suffered a number of minor injuries.
In a separate incident on January 13, a woman was held at knife-point and her car stolen after she stopped to offer assistance to a man on the roadside in Grenagh, some 20km north of Cork City.
Sources have revealed that the tactic of throwing objects at passing cars is becoming "more and more common".
"We get a good lot of reports of people saying something was thrown at their car or they see someone in a ditch.
"We have even had reports of staged accidents so people will stop to help. The best advice is to stay calm and keep your doors locked."
Director of Consumer Affairs for AA Ireland Conor Faughnan has also expressed concern of what he has called a "nasty pattern" emerging across the country.
"There is a nasty trend emerging here and the best advice that we can give is to keep your doors locked at all times," he said.