‘Help police put a stop to spate of vandalism’

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The public have been urged to help police bring an end to a spate of mindless vandalism that has left local car owners facing hefty repair bills.

A total of 17 cars were damaged in Merville Garden Village during an overnight tyre-slashing spree on August 20/21. But police only released details of the incident this week.

Newtownabbey Area Commander, Chief Inspector Stephen Reid said: “Officers responded to a report from a member of the public that the tyres of their car had been cut and subsequently discovered that as many as 17 cars had been damaged in this way and proceeded to alert the owners.

“The damage was discovered just before 8.20am on August 21 and Newtownabbey police would like to speak to anyone who was in the area and saw or heard anything suspicious or untoward.”

In another incident in nearby Rushpark last week, tyres were let down on four vehicles, including a car belonging to an 85-year-old pensioner.

Macedon Councillors David Hollis (TUV) and Billy Webb (Alliance) have called on those damaging cars in the Merville and Rushpark areas to stop.

“I find it very concerning that somebody is walking our streets brandishing a knife and that they get satisfaction from slashing car tyres,” Cllr Webb commented.

“On one night in Merville 17 cars had their tyres slashed and there have been other recent instances of this. They are causing annoyance and expense to car owners.

“Somebody somewhere knows who is doing this and I call on them to let the PSNI know.”

Cllr Hollis added: “Four cars belonging to residents in the multi-storey flats had their tyres let down. Those carrying out these acts mustn’t realise the damage they are doing and the inconvenience they cause. One of the cars in Rushpark is owned by an 85-year-old who needs the car to get about. I am joining with Councillor Webb in calling for this to stop and for anyone who knows anything about it to contact the PSNI.”

Investigating officers can be contacted at Newtownabbey Police Station on the non-emergency number, 101. Information can also be passed on anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.