Birmingham & Black Country

Baby in Birmingham car-jacking ordeal reunited with mum

Clare O'Neill and baby Eliza Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Clare O'Neill was injured when car-jackers made off in her Audi from her driveway in Acocks Green

A mother was run over as she "battled" to stop car-jackers driving off with her four-week-old baby.

Clare O'Neill, 39, said the two men who stole her Audi "clearly knew" daughter Eliza was in the back seat when they fled the scene in Birmingham.

The pair had, Ms O'Neill said, put their "personal greed" before the life of her baby girl.

Mum and daughter were reunited after Eliza was found in her car seat, dumped at a health centre three miles away.

Ms O'Neill suffered facial injuries, a broken tooth and "severe pain" to her arm when the wheel of her car ran over her.

Her wounds had left her struggling to hold Eliza, she said.

Ms O'Neill arrived home in Marie Drive, Acocks Green, at about 16:00 BST, where two men confronted her and demanded the keys to her car.

As she tried to get her daughter out of the vehicle, the men drove off, leaving her injured.

Ms O'Neill, who has been discharged from hospital, said she was "extremely shaken" by what happened and the family was still "trying to come to terms with what happened".

She appealed for anyone with information to come forward, and said: "The life of my daughter was endangered by the reckless behaviour of those involved".

"Eliza is thankfully safe and well, but the people responsible clearly knew she was in my car when it was taken, putting the life of our four-week-old baby at risk as a result of their personal greed".

Officers are continuing to search for the stolen grey Audi A3 S-line, registration BJ66 YLV.

Image caption Police said the car-jackers in Marie Drive had put the mother through a "45-minute nightmare she will never forget"

West Midlands Police said one line of inquiry involves looking into a similar car-jacking on Jameson Road, in Nechells at 13:30 BST on 16 July, but said they are "not definitely linked".

A man was sitting in his car with his young daughter in the back and as he drove away he was rammed by a blue Ford car.

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Media captionA similar attack three days earlier is also being investigated

Footage shows a woman getting out of the targeted car with the child before three men steal the driver's car and a chain from around his neck.

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, described the incident as "truly dreadful".

He said while car-jacking is relatively rare, the number of car thefts in the West Midlands has doubled in the last two years.

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