THREE vehicles belonging to a Bridlington family have been left with thousands of pounds worth of damage after being attacked with corrosive acid.
Wayne and Melanie Gowan believe their vehicles were targeted when they were doused with an industrial corrosive gel last Friday night outside their home on Waterdale Close; stripping paint and melting light fittings and plastic parts of the bodywork.
This comes after Bridlington’s Neighbourhood Police Team confirmed they are looking into acts of vandalism on parked vehicles after recording a number of unconnected incidents of criminal damage since February, ranging from wing mirrors being smashed off to convertible roofs being slashed.
The attack on Mr and Mrs Gowan’s vehicles, a Citreon Berlingo van parked at the front of the property and a Saab 95 and BMW 318 parked in the private driveway at the back of the house, took place on Friday, April 13, between 10.10pm and 10.30pm.
Wayne Gowan, 39, said: “My daughter had come in at around 10.10pm, and the vehicles were fine at that point. It was only because I had asked her to go and fetch something from outside that she noticed it at around 10.30pm.
“There was a blue/green gel on the van, so I immediately went and got the hosepipe to try and get rid of it.
“Then Melanie went out the back and saw the other two cars dripping as well so we tried to get it off those.
“We have definitely been targeted. There was another vehicle parked at the side of the house that whoever has done this will have passed between the van to the cars at the back, and that wasn’t touched.”
Wayne estimated the damage done to all three vehicles to be in the region of £12,000, with the BMW vehicle almost considered a financial write off due to the extent of its damage.
Melanie, 41, said: “I still can’t get the image of them doused in this gel out of my mind. It is frightening to think that we’ve been targeted in this way. If we had just gone to bed and not noticed it, the damage would have been much worse.
“It feels as though we have been violated by someone coming onto our property to do this and I can only hope that the police catch who did it.”
Wayne and Melanie are offering a £1,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to a prosectuion.
Detective Sergeant Tom Napier, of Bridlington CID, said: “This damage appears to be a targeted attack against high value motor vehicles.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Humberside Police non-emergency number 101 quoting log 795 of April 13.
This attack comes after a spate of other incidents of criminal damage in the Bridlington area since February.
Wing mirrors were smashed off seven cars in Pembroke Terrace in February, while wing mirrors were stolen from a Mini Cooper on Cardigan Road at the end of February and from a Vauxhall Agila on St John’s Walk on March 17.
Damage has also been caused to parked cars on Scarborough Road, Easton Road, High Street, Gordon Road, Stepney Grove, Applegarth Lane and Jameson Road.
However Sergeant Carl Sweeting, of the Bridlington Neighbourhood Police team, says that the attack at Waterdale Close is not connected with any other acts of criminal damage.
“The other incidents of anti-social behaviour are something that the neighbourhood team are tasked to look at - they are a priority. These are not targeted attacks like those on Waterdale Close.
“We have interviewed several juveniles about the anti-social behaviour and one has been charged with the breach of an anti-social behaviour order.”
The latest attacks on vehicles came at Lawson Road, where the wing mirror of a silver Peugeot 308 was damaged between 11.30pm on April 5 and 8.30am on April 6. A drunken group were heard in the street around midnight.
A red Rover 75 parked in Marshall Avenue between 10pm on April 6 and 11.15am on April 7 had its windscreen broken after it appeared that the offender had run across the top of, and kicked, the vehicle. On Easton Road between 9pm on April 7 and 10am on April 8 the wing mirror of a white Vauxhall Astra was damaged.
If anyone has any information about these latest attacks, contact Humberside Police on 101 quoting crime reference number CW/1900024/12 for the Lawson Road incident, CW/1900162/12 for Marshall Avenue, and CW/1900364/12 for Easton Road.