Thief steals car with passenger in back seat

By Hayden Moore

A MAN has detailed the terrifying encounter that his elderly father had to endure, as his car was stolen with the 75-year-old in the back seat.

Bawnogue native Keith Freer and his father Michael were subject to an ordeal that is currently under investigation by An Garda Síochána.

Ace Bawnogue 30 1

The incident happened in Bawnogue

The pair, who are in a Covid-19 bubble, had called Chinese takeaway restaurant Yummy Yummy in Bawnogue and were waiting outside to pick up their order.

“I parked up on the path outside Yummy Yummy because the gate is closed, it was absolutely freezing that night as well so I left the car ticking over so I could leave the heaters on,” Tallaght resident Keith told The Echo.

“I walked in to grab the curry and as I walked back out, my dad was just walking back towards me saying ‘awh I’m sorry Keith, I should have done more’.

“My dad’s not much of a joker now, I knew he wasn’t messing with me and I could see he was visibly shaken.

Recounting what lead up to the theft, he added: “It was dark out and basically some fella walked up and started looking in the car.

Michael and Keith Freer father and son 1

Michael and Keith Freer

“He couldn’t see my da in the back, so he jumped in thinking nobody was in the car and started to drive off.

“My dad was trying to get out of the car but he couldn’t get his seatbelt off.

“Your man realised then my da was in the back, turned around to him and shouted at him ‘get the f**k out of the car now’.

“You think these things are never going to happen to you, especially in the estate you were born and reared in.”

The 75-year-old was released, but the car is yet to be recovered.

In a statement to The Echo, a garda spokesperson said: “Gardai are investigating the theft of a vehicle which occurred on Bawnogue Road, Dublin on the 12th February 2021 at approximately 10.50pm.”

While investigations are ongoing, no injuries were been reported to An Garda Síochána and “no arrests have been made”.

Independent councillor Peter Kavanagh could not hide his disbelief at the incident.

“I’m genuinely shocked at that level of violence and the lack of consideration for a person’s safety,” he told The Echo.

“It’s a total disregard for people’s safety and to life in general, it’s a disgrace and it’s such a sad state of affairs when you can’t even go get a curry without being attacked.

“To jump into a car with a 75-year-old man and just drive off, I’m appalled by it.

“He’s obviously a bit shaken after it and I’d hope the guards can track down this car and reprimand whoever is responsible for this.

“We wouldn’t get a lot of reports of anti-social behaviour from Bawnogue.

“This is not an area that would be seen as unsafe.

“To think that somebody would be lying in wait or walked by and spotted an opportunity to jump into a car is devastating.

“I’m absolutely gutted that this happened in Clondalkin.

“My thoughts are going out to this elderly man and his family.”

Michael has lived in Bawnogue for decades and, a truck driver all his life, he has parted company with his time on the road to gift his own car to his son Keith.

“My mam only died there a year ago as well, it’s been tough on him, I can tell he’s still shaken by this whole thing,” Keith continued.

“He was a truck driver all his life and his eye-sight is deteriorating a bit now.

“My dad gave me his car because mine was taken. So I was over with him swapping over the insurance and signing the car over to me.

“When I was driving out of the garden in his car, I think he was finally realising that he’ll never drive again.

“I could see he was upset; I’m getting emotional now even thinking about it.

“He is blaming himself for the car being taken but who knows what could have happened. I had to tell my da that he couldn’t have done more, a car is replaceable but he isn’t.”

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