A man stole a car after standing in the middle of a busy Wearside road to halt traffic and threaten motorists.
The attacks happened just before 6.45pm yesterday, when the thug stood in Durham Road and caused a number of vehicles to stop,
He approached two of the stopped cars and threatened the drivers who drove off.
He then threatened the driver and passenger in a silver Ford Focus who got out of the car.
The man then drove off in the vehicle.
The Focus was found damaged and abandoned nearby in Exeter Street in Pallion.
The driver and passenger from the focus were left shaken by what happened but were not injured.
The offender is described as being in his 20s, around 6ft tall and had slim face and small eyes.
He was wearing a dark coloured tracksuit top.
He was with a woman when the incident happened and she is described as in her mid 20s to early 30s and with fair hair.
Northumbria Police say inquiries are ongoing into the incident and police want to speak to anyone who was in the area and who saw what happened.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference number 1066 171015.