Police are appealing for information after the theft, which happened today (Thursday) at 10am.
It was reported the victim was getting her dog out of her orange Fiat Panda in the Brown’s Point area of Whitley Bay when an unknown male approached and jumped into the driver’s seat, before driving off.
The woman, who had got her dog out of the vehicle before it was stolen, was uninjured but left shaken by the incident.
As officers tracked the vehicle’s movements it was found a short time later abandoned and on fire in a hedge in the Harbottle Street area of Byker.
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Enquiries are ongoing to trace those involved, and police are now appealing for anybody with information to come forward.
PC Stuart Payne, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are committed to tracing the person responsible for this appalling offence and ultimately bringing them to justice.
“We are carrying out a range of enquiries into this theft. I am appealing to anybody who may have witnessed the offence, or believes they saw somebody driving an orange Fiat Panda in those locations between 10am and 11am, to come forward.
“Your information, no matter how insignificant you feel it may be, could prove to be the key to our investigation.
“If you were in the Whitley Bay or Byker areas this morning, please check any dashcam footage and get in touch if you see anything that can assist us.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20211118-0232.