Ilford man stabbed to death by masked car jacker

Detectives are appealing for help in tracing a masked knifeman who stabbed a driver in Clayhall before stealing his car.

Police were called at 1.01am this morning to reports of a man injured in Stoneleigh Road.

Officers found Harjinder Singh Bhurji, of Ilford who had a chest wound and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics half an hour later.

The 32-year-old’s female friend, who was with him at the time of the attack, was uninjured but suffering from shock.

It is believed the two had been talking in the car when a man appeared, opened the passenger door and dragged her out.

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The suspect then went to the driver’s door and demanded the keys to the

black Mercedes, CLK coupe, registration number R4 JXW.

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Mr Bhurji tried to hide them under his seat but the suspect threatened to harm the woman if he did not hand them over.

However, before he had time to retrieve them, he was stabbed.

Despite his injury Mr Bhurji gave the keys to the man who then drove off and the car was found abandoned at 2.45am in Forest Glade, Chingford.

Detectives are urging anyone who saw the car to come forward with information.

Det Insp Phil Rickells said: “The suspect appears to have been purely motivated by stealing the car because at this early stage we can find no other obvious motive.

“As far as we can tell, the victim did not know the suspect or why he

might want his car.

“The Mercedes had a distinctive number plate and I would appeal to anyone who was out driving in the early hours to cast their minds back and let us know if they saw it.”

Police said the suspect was black, about 6ft 2in, of slim build and wearing a grey beanie hat, grey hoodie and dark coloured bandana.

Anyone with information should contact 020 8345 1570 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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