Ram-raid attack feels like a vendetta, says garage boss

Ram-raid attack feels like a vendetta, says garage boss

David Nicholas at Southampton Tyre and Wheel Centre.

A gouge in the wall shows where the stolen pick up truck ended up.

First published in Crime
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

“IT FEELS like someone has a vendetta against my business.”

Those were the words of a Hampshire businessman after his service garage was ram-raided but nothing was stolen.

Vandals broke metal shutters at Southampton Tyre & Wheel Centre in Brokenford Lane, Totton, after stealing a low-loader Ford Transit from a garage next door.

They climbed over a 7ft high metal fence to enter Barrweld garage, before smashing office equipment and taking the keys to the vehicle, which was due to be scrapped.

The offender then twice rammed the centre’s shutters, breaking them open and damaging the rear of a black BMW 325i inside.

David Nicholas, who has run the business for 25 years, said: “It seems like someone has a vendetta against these garages because they haven’t stolen anything.

"They have been next door and ransacked the place and then came here and rammed us. It just seems malicious. The damage to the car is going to be around £1,000 and the shutter doors will probably cost £3,500 to fix. It makes me think about moving elsewhere but to do that would be letting them win.”

Mr Nicholas added the damage to the car and shutters should be covered by insurance.

An employee at Barrweld, who declined to be named, said: “I don’t know why they took the Transit tipper because it was beyond repair. They also smashed the glass in my microwave.”

The vehicle was driven off towards Rumbridge Street, where it was abandoned and rolled into the side of a grade II listed house.

Resident Amanda Bligh, 44, said: “I saw headlights through my window and then I heard a bump and a thud and it hit the side of the house. It rolled into the side and scuffed the brickwork, but there was no one in it when it hit the wall.”

Ms Bligh, a care worker, who is the fourth generation of her family to live in the 300-year-old property, added: “This isn’t the first time this has happened but we are just lucky because the damage is not as bad as it could have been.”

Police confirmed they are investigating and are appealing for any witnesses to contact Totton police station on 101.

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