Detective Inspector Chris Wilson, from PSNI's Serious Crime Branch made an appeal for information after the armed kidnapping and robbery on Thursday night.
He said the incident was a "planned and organised crime" involving a number of people.
"This was a horrific ordeal for the father and son and the wider family circle," he said.
"There were three armed and masked men with sawn off shotguns and a knife produced and threats to life made," he explained.
"The pair were then separated and the son was taken away by the kidnappers so this has had a significant impact on both the victims."
There were serious threats made on the lives of both victims.
DI Chris Wilson
Three masked men, armed with a shotgun and a knife entered the home of the 52-year-old and 18-year-old in the Bexley area shortly after 10pm.
At around 4am the gang stole the family car, a grey Renault Laguna, changed its plates and drove the teen to a house in west Belfast.
Three hours later, a sum of money was passed to the occupant of the car at a filling station in the Ravenhill Road area in the south of the city. A cash delivery van was in the forecourt at the time.
The car was spotted in the College Square North area before it was found abandoned in Ainsworth Avenue in west Belfast.
The teenager escaped from the house at around 9.30am on Friday and he raised the alarm.
DI Wilson said the family were under "terrible stress" but were relieved that their son was able to escape unharmed.
"We in the PSNI have been working tirelessly with our partners in the financial services industry and indeed have managed to reduce the instances of this crime, but one tiger kidnapping is one tiger kidnapping too many," he added.
"That is why today I am appealing for information, for people to come forward and help me with my enquiries."
Police appealed for anyone who saw the car, with either its original plates GJZ 9090, or the false registration number RJZ 6968 to contact them.