Probe after 20 cars damaged

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POLICE have slammed the actions of yobs who damaged around 20 cars in one street as “wanton vandalism”.

Officers spoke out after a trail of destruction was left by vandals in Percy Street, off Jesmond Road, in Hartlepool.

Residents woke up on Good Friday morning to find deep scratches along the length of their cars, which some estimated will cost up to £500 to repair.

A number of vehicles in Murray Street and Windsor Street were also attacked, with one having its windscreen smashed and another having its wing mirrors kicked off.

Inspector Mick Brown, of Hartlepool Police, who is investigating the incident, said: “I strongly suspect this is a group who are just causing wanton damage, with all the incidents possibly linked.

“I really want to appeal to anybody who may have information whatsoever in respect of the people responsible.

“It’s hard enough for people as it is in the current financial climate.”

A police photographer was in Percy Street yesterday taking pictures of the damage.

Insp Brown said it would cost thousands of pounds to repair all of the vehicles.

“It’s even more galling when you consider the financial restraints decent people are under in this day and age,” he added.

“Somebody will have bragged about it, someone will know about it.”

Residents said they were “furious” about what had happened and realised something was wrong when they saw various neighbours out in the street yesterday morning pointing at cars.

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One unnamed woman, whose Renault car was targeted, said: “I was really annoyed when I saw they had made a right mess.

“They are just idiots.”

A 52-year-old mum-of-three from the street, whose Kia Ceed car was scratched, said: “It’s just inconvenience. “What’s the point?”

A man from the street, whose Citroen Picasso and wife’s Kia car where damaged, added: “We are looking at £500 worth of damage to two doors, the panel and front wing.

“It’s sickening, what they get out of it I don’t know.”

Four are currently being quizzed by police in connection with the incident.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to call Insp Brown on (01642) 302126 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.