Elderly woman's car trashed in apparent case of mistaken identity in Sunderland

An elderly Sunderland woman faces an agonising wait to find out if her car will be written off after it was seriously vandalised in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

Saturday, 4th August 2018, 9:00 am
Updated Saturday, 4th August 2018, 10:43 am
The rear of Florence's car

Eighty-two-year-old Florence Rodenby had only had her Nissan Micra for a fortnight when it was attacked outside her home in Stranton Avenue, Roker, in the early hours of Wednesday.

Now police have appealed for help in tracing the people responsible.

Florence Rodenby who had her car vandalised outside of her Sunderland home. Picture by FRANK REID

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Florence had only left the car outside the house in order to avoid disturbing the neighbours: “I have got an electric gate and I normally put it round the back but I play bingo on a Tuesday night and it was a bit late when I got home,” she said.

“It was eleven o’clock, so I just left it out the front.

“I heard a noise during the night. I looked out of the window, because the first thing you think about is your car, but I could see it was still there and thought nothing more about it.”

It was only on Wednesday morning that Florence discovered what had happened: “I was going to play bowls so I got up early to have my breakfast,” she said.

Florence Rodenby who had her car vandalised outside of her Sunderland home. Picture by FRANK REID

“It was about 20 past nine when my son came in and said ‘Are you all right, Mam?’

“He asked what had happed last night and, when I said nothing, he said ‘Well, you better sit down, you car has been trashed.’

“My daughter had been out walking the dog very early in the morning and she had seen the car and thought I had been in an accident.

“She rang my son and he came round.”

The windscreen of Florence Rodenby's car

The damage is clearly deliberate, but Florence’s car was the only one targeted in a street full of parked vehicles: “Everyone is saying it is mistaken identity,” she said.

“There were a lot of cars in the street but that was the only one that was touched.

“I am insured, but I have to wait and see what happens. The tyres were all slashed, the back window is gone, the window at the front is all smashed and the driver’s window is out.”

Police are appealing for information after damage was caused to a car in Sunderland.

The car belonging to Florence Rodenby that was vandalised outside of her Sunderland home. Picture by FRANK REID

Northumbria Police Neighbourhood Sergeant Louise Mcclennan said the damage was believed to have occurred between 2.30am and 3am: “We think this is a case of mistaken identity and we will be conducting patrols in the area,” she added.

“We take all crime seriously and would like to speak with anyone who might have information about this incident, especially anyone who might Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 192 1/8/2018.