Robber rams vehicle off M40 near Banbury before attacking victim with crowbar and stealing phone
The shocking incident took place just before 4.30am on Tuesday morning (December 13) when the victim was driving his white Peugeot van along the M40 southbound between junctions 11 and 10.
The suspect then drove his vehicle at him and rammed the victim’s vehicle from behind, causing him to veer off the road and crash into the hard shoulder, where the offenders vehicle pulling up behind him.
At this moment, the male offender used a crowbar to smash the victim's driver’s side window before then swinging the crowbar at the victim, who deflected the blow before escaping from his van and running up the embankment.
The offender did not follow the victim, who suffered minor cuts and bruises but did not require hospital treatment. However, when he returned to his van, he noticed that his Apple iPhone 14 had been stolen.
The offender has been described as a white man, possibly of Eastern European origin, with dark facial hair, approximately 5ft 9ins tall, and wearing a dark navy blue hooded top.
The suspect was driving a grey Audi saloon, possibly an A4 or A6 and is likely to have left the scene with a damaged front bumper.
PC Neil Wheeler of the Cherwell and West Oxfordshire Tasking Team said: "This is a highly unusual and particularly concerning incident.
"It would appear that the victim was deliberately rammed off the M40 at speed in order for the offender to facilitate this robbery.
"It has happened in the early hours of the morning, but I do know that there were a number of vehicles on that stretch of the motorway at the time of the incident.
"These people may have believed that they have witnessed a road traffic collision, but in fact, this has turned out to be a particularly nasty robbery.
"I am appealing to anybody who was driving on the M40, either north or southbound between junctions 11 and 10 on Tuesday morning to please contact Thames Valley Police if you think you witnessed this incident.
"I would also ask anybody who has dash-cam in their vehicles to please check this and contact us if it has captured anything that can assist this investigation.
"I am appealing more widely than just Oxfordshire, as the M40 is a major arterial route between the Midlands and London, and so if anybody believes they saw that they thought was a collision, please call us on 101, quoting reference number 43220559095.
"You can also make a report online or for anonymity, the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
"We believe this to be an isolated incident, but had the potential to be even more serious had the collision caused further injury.
"We are making further enquiries, including checking ANPR cameras, but are appealing directly to the public for their assistance in this investigation."