PARKING WARS: Vandal sends clear message to drivers on quiet Preston street
Parking wars have broken out on a normally peaceful terraced street in Preston.
Residents claim up to a dozen vehicles have been deliberately “keyed” – many along both sides – in a spate of attacks on Suffolk Road, Deepdale.
And the total repair bill is estimated at thousands of pounds – money which some are refusing to pay in case their cars are targeted again.
“It’s disgusting,” said Jason Fitzer, whose Vauxhall Astra was the latest to be damaged when he left it parked there while he went to work nearby.
“Whoever’s doing this really means it. Seven panels have been keyed and that’s going to cost me hundreds of pounds to fix.”
While Jason’s car was a “visitor” to Suffolk Road, many of the vehicles targeted belong to residents who live in the street.
The Jazz owner, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told the Post she and her family are looking to move house to get away from the vandalism.
“This isn’t just a recent thing,” she said.
“I’ve had three cars in the last six years – a Beetle, a Yaris and now this – and they’ve all been deliberately scratched. It’s cost me a fortune.
“But this latest incident has really got to me.
“My car hasn’t only been keyed all the way along both sides in a previous incident, but now the words ‘don’t park’ have been scrawled across the bonnet. It’s unbelievable.
“My husband has just bought a new car and he won’t park it here in case it’s attacked. He’s constantly watching it.
“We’ve been here for 15 years, but now we’ve decided we are looking to move house. We don’t feel safe here any more.”
Another resident, Imtiaz Merchant, has had his car scratched all the way round. He has been told the bill for having it repainted is likely to reach between £400 and £500.
“I don’t know who is doing this,” he said. “But someone must not like people parking outside their house.
“Half of the cars parked here during the day are people who work in town. But the cars damaged are mostly belonging to people who live in Suffolk Road. That’s why it’s so strange.
“I know at least six, maybe more, who’ve had their cars scratched. And then there have been others who don’t live round here. It needs stopping.”
Jason Fitzer, who lives in St Annes but works for Preston Bus, claims his car was parked in exactly the same spot as the Jazz when it was damaged. The bill, he reckons, will come to around £800.
“That might be a coincidence, although I’m told others were scratched when they parked in the place I left mine,” he said.
“And whoever has done it hasn’t just used a key. The scratches are so deep that it’s been done with some force using something like a screwdriver, or an implement with a really sharp point.
“I’ve reported it to the police and I’m waiting to give them a statement. But without witnesses or CCTV I can’t see what they can do about it.
“When I was there I saw at least five cars which looked like they had been keyed. But I’m told by the people on that street that there have been others too.”
Police say they are investigating the attack on Jason’s car. But a spokesman said there was no record of any other acts of criminal damage in Suffolk Road recently, adding: “Our log shows that, apart from this one incident, it has been fairly quiet in that street since the start of April.”