VANDALS smashed into beach huts in Southsea for the second time in just a week - leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Nine huts on Eastney Beach were broken into late Monday night with thieves using hammers and specialist grips to pull off metal bars holding the £1,000 doors shut.
The intruders also kicked in panels and destroyed padlocks before bizarrely taking only food and drink items but nothing of value.
It is the third spate of vandalism on the row of council-owned 18 beach huts in the last three months as vandals continue to prey on the site.
Portsmouth City Council’s seafront services has been called in to repair the damage with work likely to take around a week before it is completed.
‘They’ve clean yanked the metal barriers off the doors, kicked in panels and really given it a good going over using hammers and grips,’ Gary Woods, of seafront services, said.
‘Nothing of any value was taken with it mainly just food and drink. It is strange nothing else was taken. We’re hoping there will soon be overnight security to keep watch as the vandals could well come back.
‘This is the worst damage we’ve seen here for years.’
There is CCTV further down the promenade facing away from the huts toward the toilets with a sign underneath saying ‘helping to prevent crime and promoting public safety’.
Mr Woods told The News if it was not feasible to put CCTV on the huts then the existing camera could be adjusted. ‘If they moved it around then it would capture who is doing the damage,’ he said.
Chris Pitman, who leases one of the beach huts, said: ‘I just can’t understand why anyone would do this - it’s just mindless vandalism. It will be quite a job to sort all this out. This is the third time in three months this has happened so the huts are obviously a target.’
Police have urged anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour to call 101 44180150448.