CRIMINALS armed with stun guns have attempted a string of carjackings, prompting a warning from police for female motorists in particular to be vigilant.
West Midlands police issued alerts on social media about “taser robberies”, and suggested lone female drivers are being targeted as they get into their cars. Patrols have been sent to the Moseley and Kings Heath areas of Birmingham to catch the thieves.
A local neighbourhood police team also issued an email alert: “Recently several crimes in the Moseley, Kings Heath and Springfield areas have involved suspects using a TASER. Attempts to target lone females, and rob them of their cars are amongst the crimes being investigated. Report any use or illegal possession of tasers/knives/weapons. They are offensive weapons and are illegal to possess in public.”
Barbara Partridge, a member of Kings Heath running club, warned on the club’s Facebook page that a member was shot with a taser during an attempted car theft by three men who demanded her keys. Partridge wrote: “She refused, and an electric taser device was used on her during a struggle. She managed to alert a passing van, the driver stopped and the men ran away. She was shaken [and] bruised.”
Another resident claimed there had been similar incidents in the area since December. After six reports of stun attacks in as many days earlier this month, four teenage boys were arrested and bailed over one incident.
Last year stun guns disguised as iPhones and torches were being used by criminals. Some were far more powerful than tasers, which are officially issued to police. In November a woman was tasered in Salford, Greater Manchester, and her car keys were stolen. She suffered blistering and grazing to her stomach.
Gang members are thought to have turned to stun guns, which can be bought online for £10, because of the lack of availability of other weapons. Two years ago a gang of armed robbers in London repeatedly fired a stun gun in a pawnbroker’s shop, shocking the victim up to 10 times.
Fiona Hamilton, Crime Editor
This article first appeared in The Times