Belfast Telegraph

Man arrested after 30 cars vandalised in north Belfast street: Wing mirrors smashed and number plates broken

By Joanne Sweeney

North Belfast residents have spoken of their disgust after a vandal went on an early morning rampage which left dozens of cars damaged.

Police reported that at least 31 cars were attacked on the Ballygomartin Road, in a determined effort believed to be caused by one man at around 6am yesterday morning.

A 22-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and was detained in custody yesterday.

Residents were left fuming over the hundreds of pounds worth of damage caused to their cars, which included key damage to paintwork, one or both wing mirrors kicked off and damaged, and number plates kicked off.

Several claimed that this was not the first time such damage had been caused to cars and that a similar incident had happened around the same time last year.

The trail of damage started from just after the Tesco store on the Ballygomartin Road, down the road, around the corner and into Ballygomartin Park.

Proud car owner, Crawford Dallin, called the police around 7am when he noticed the off-side wing mirror of his three-month-old Vauxhall Mokka was hanging off.

He was up early to drive his daughter – whose car was also damaged – to Dublin airport.

"It's absolutely ridiculous and it's not the first time," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"My last Vauxhall Vectra was keyed just about a year ago. Whoever did it had a real go at it to kick the wing mirrors completely off.

"I only noticed the damage when I was up at 7am and didn't realise how much damage had been caused along the street.

"I just had to quickly tape the mirror back on so that I could drive to Dublin, but I reckon that's about £200 to fix."

John Waide (24) said: "This was just absolutely disgusting, that's all I can say about it.

"It's not fair on me or any of my neighbours along the road.

"This is my first car and I'm still driving on my R-plates."

DUP councillor Nicola Verne, whose mother's car had its wing mirror damaged, said: "This early morning attack on cars along Ballygomartin Road has left a trail of destruction and misery for residents.

"The scale of the damage is breath-taking."

"It must be condemned as an utterly senseless act of vandalism against the private property of innocent residents."

Ms Verner added: "It's not important that this incident is not thought to have had a sectarian motive – people should be able to know that their property is safe from harm outside their front door."

Her mother, Charlotte McFarlane, suffered a broken wing mirror – but said others suffered much worse.

Mrs McFarlane said: "It wasn't too bad for me this time, but it's absolutely disgraceful."

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