Hampshire police increase patrols around Fratton as vandals return to smash cars in an auto yard that has suffered three attacks in a week
VANDALS have once again smashed up vehicles left in a Fratton auto yard – making it the third time in less than a week that the business has been targeted.
Close to half a dozen vehicles in the Byngs Autos’ yard, in Goldsmith Avenue, have had their windows smashed or their bodywork dented, according to the businesses owner.
Vehicles in the yard were previously targeted on Sunday evening and Monday night, with more than 25 vehicles damaged across the week.
Witnesses in the area have told the business owner that they saw three men in black masks climbing over the wall to the auto yard last night to trash the motors.
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Now police will increase their patrols across the area, according to a spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary.
He said: ‘We have not seen any wider reports of criminal damage in the area outside of this location, however we do appreciate that local residents will be concerned to hear of repeat incidents of criminal damage.
‘Our officers will be carrying out increased patrols in the area this evening. Anyone with concerns or questions is encouraged to come and speak to them.
‘Anyone with any information that may assist our enquiries in connection with this incident is asked to call 101 quoting reference 44220216873.’
Trevor Bygns, who has owned the car repair service for more than a decade, said that he hopes increased patrols will deter further vandalism.
The 47-year-old said: ‘The more they let them get off their trolley and think they can get away with it, the more it will happen.’
It comes as the business is still reeling from a huge fire that struck its facilities in April 2021, when more 40 firefighters from across the county responding to the blaze, which saw nearby Orchard Road evacuated to Priory School’s sports centre.
Now the family is looking at thousands of pounds in damages due to the vandalism, with half of the damaged cars owned by the business and being prepared for sale.
One customer was distraught to find all the windows of their car smashed in.
Robert Collins, 81 said: ‘Obviously, we can’t use the car anymore.
‘We have had it only a year.
‘We have got no idea what happens next, what do we do?’