Chanelle Ward was cornered in the darkness by two men who stole her car. Photo / Supplied
Chanelle Ward was cornered in the darkness by two men who stole her car. Photo / Supplied

Young driver forced off road by two men in brazen carjacking

A WOMAN driving alone at night was forced off the road by two men in another vehicle who then stole her car in a brazen carjacking.

The terrifying incident in West Auckland has left 22-year-old Chanelle Warne shaken and hesitant to drive when it's dark.

Police have arrested a man after a high-speed chase, but a second man is still at large.

Ms Warne was driving to a friend's home on Forest Hill Rd, which leads into the Waitakere Ranges, around 10.30pm on Tuesday when a car she was following pulled into a side road.

She passed the vehicle, a stolen Mitsubishi Legnum, but then on a remote, unlit section of road it reappeared and aggressively tailgated her.

"I pulled over to the left to let it past. And it started swerving into me, so I pulled over as far as I could," Ms Warne said.

Two men in the car had their windows down and opened the rear door, yelling at her to get in.

They were aged in their 20s to early 30s, and one wore gloves.

Cornered and unable to reverse in the darkness, she grabbed her phone, climbed out on to the road and started to back away from both vehicles.

The driver of the Mitsubishi climbed into the driver's seat of Ms Warne's R32 Skyline.

She was on the phone to the police as the man's friend drove off in the Mitsubishi. Shortly afterwards, another car came towards them.

"I was yelling and screaming at it to stop. I hopped into this random person's car, and I made them take me 700 metres up the road to my friend's place where I was going.

"I don't know who helped me but I am so grateful that they even took me there."

When the police arrived at the home of Ms Warne's friend, the noise from her Skyline's engine could be heard echoing through the valley.

Ms Warne, who works in advertising at NZME., the Herald's parent company, also lost a handbag containing her passport, wallet, iPad, camera and other belongings.

Due to fly out tomorrow for a holiday in the United States, she had to apply for an emergency passport.

But more concerning to her was the loss of her blue Skyline - with the personalised XWESTX plate - that she has owned since she was 15.

"I love that car. It is a love-hate relationship. It costs me so much money but I love it so much."

Soon after the carjacking, Ms Warne appealed on Facebook for sightings of her car.

Strangers reported sightings in Manurewa and other suburbs, and on Wednesday Ms Warne was sent a photo of her crashed car surrounded by police in Papatoetoe.

"They had a high-speed police chase - apparently the helicopter was involved - on Christmas Eve about 6.30pm. They crashed it into a pole and wrote it off."

Police arrested the sole occupant and recovered Ms Warne's camera and a gift card, but the other man was still at large last night.

Police spokeswoman Kimberley Mathews said a man would appear in Manukau District Court this month to face charges including reckless driving and failing to stop.

"Investigations into the robbery of the vehicle are ongoing and further charges are likely."

Ms Warne said she wanted other women drivers to know about her ordeal, which had left her devastated before Christmas.

"I was even scared to drive in the dark last night. I am quite shaken up about it ... I don't even want to think about it [the instruction to get into the car], to be honest."



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