A Wearside takeaway owner has been left both frightened and mystified by vandals who smashed his signs and covered up his telephone number in paint.
Mohammed Islam said between £3,000 and £4,000 of damage was caused to Dial-A-Curry, on Washington’s Swan Industrial Estate, when yobs targeted the business.
Not only did they smash all three of his lightbox-style signs, located on the front, side and rear of the premises, in Eddison Road, but they also painted over the takeaway’s telephone numbers.
Mr Islam, 35, is now hoping those responsible for last week’s attack will be caught.
He said: “We are closed every Monday.
“When I came in at 5.45pm on Tuesday all three lit sign boards, at the front, back and side, had been smashed and someone had painted over our telephone number.
I just don’t know why. Is it a racist attack? Are they trying to damage my business? That’s how I feel, because they painted over the phone numberMohammed Islam, owner
“I have no idea who could have done this or why.
“I don’t have any trouble with anybody.
“It’s like some people don’t want us to be here, but I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t want the takeaway to be here.
“I just don’t know why. Is it a racist attack? Are they trying to damage my business? That’s how I feel, because they painted over the phone number.”
The incident has left Mr Islam, who has run the business for three years, worried about further trouble.
He said: “I don’t know how to describe how I feel.
“I’m scared – I don’t know what’s going to happen next.
“They came when the shop was closed, but what happens if they come when the shop is open and I’m there.”
Mr Islam is waiting to find out how much it is going to cost to repair the damage, but he estimates having to pay out between £3,000 and £4,000.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for witnesses following criminal damage to a shop front in Washington.
“It happened at Dial-A-Curry on Eddison Road, in Washington, between 5pm on Monday, and 5.30pm on Tuesday.
“An unknown offender approached the takeaway premises and smashed three signs.
“Police are investigating any witnesses are asked to call 101, quoting reference 832 of 11/10/16, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”