VANDALS slashed 38 cars parked in a leafy Sunderland suburb during a mindless attack that has left neighbours in shock.
Residents in Ashbrooke are today counting the cost after waking up to discover thugs had knifed their tyres.
Cars parked along St Bede’s Terrace, Park Place, The Oaks and Oaks West in Ashbrooke, were targeted yesterday morning.
Trevor Milburn, 58, of The Oaks, is about £800 out of pocket after his Toyota Yaris and his 18-year-old daughter Zoe’s Nissan Micra had all of their tyres slashed.
It comes just three days after vandals smashed the back window of his and his wife Jane’s Toyota and stole an empty bag out of their car.
The attack, and amount of money they have had to pay, has forced the family to scrap a visit to London to see Mr Milburn’s 83-year-old mum.
He said: “We’re absolutely furious and the damage that has been carried out here is just horrendous.
“The total cost must be thousands and thousands of pounds and there’s a lot of upset and furious people. There seems to have been a spate of crime here over the last few months but it has escalated.
“People must realise that this is not petty crime. It has a serious financial impact on good, honest working people who are already struggling to make ends meet.
“The impact is on everyone through raised insurance bills and fear of further crimes.”
It is estimated the cost of the damage is between £7,000 and £8,000.
Ben Clark, 25, of St Bede’s Street, was also targeted yesterday morning, with two tyres of his Ford Fiesta being slashed.
The call centre worker said: “I didn’t notice anything at first and then I saw one of my neighbours looking at their car.
“They asked if my tyres had been slashed and I looked and they had. It sounds like pretty much every car down here has been done in.
“More and more things like this seem to be happening along here and it’s difficult because we don’t have any off-street parking.”
Residents living on private St Bede’s Terrace paid for a gate to be installed at one end of the street.
But because it is a public right of way they are unable to lock it after dark.
Sandra Pursell, 67, said: “It seems to be getting worse along here and something needs to be done.
“Thankfully I don’t have a car but all of my neighbours do and I feel so sorry for them.
“They’re having to take a day off work as well as pay for new tyres and things.”
Police spent yesterday carrying out door-to-door inquiries and trawling through CCTV in a bid to trace the offenders.
Inspector John Connolly, who covers the area, said: “This is pure vandalism which will cause a huge amount of disruption to the people who have been affected.”
Anyone with any information should phone police on 03456 043 043 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
•A 35-year-old man has bee arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remains in police custody.
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