Thirty-one cars damaged in north Belfast

Another victim of the car crime rampage, John Waide pictured beside his vandalised car.
Another victim of the car crime rampage, John Waide pictured beside his vandalised car.

A woman whose car was damaged during an early morning vandalism rampage has told how “owners will have to pay to get their vehicles fixed”.

Charlotte McFarlane, 58, who lives on the Ballygomartin Road in north Belfast, said she was wakened by “breaking glass and a thump outside around 5.50am”.

“But when I looked out the bedroom window I saw no-one there,” she said.

A 22-year-old man was arrested by police after cars were damaged on the Ballygomartin Road.

The man is being questioned on suspicion of criminal damage. It is thought at least 31 vehicles had wing mirrors damaged or kicked off, and/or number plates broken.

Mrs McFarlane said: “There are a lot of cars damaged on the road. I have now seen 10 cars that are badly damaged this morning.

“So we woke up this morning to devastation. I was lucky enough as only my wing mirror was knocked out.

“But as you go on up the street to Ballygomartin Park there are four cars where both wing mirrors have been kicked off. I think it is really sad.”

She said she would be unable to claim off car insurance to fix her wing mirror “as it is too low because it is below the payment threshhold”.

“This isn’t the first time because a few months ago someone came along and ran a key along every car all the way up the road.”

DUP councillor Nicola Verner condemned the incident as “totally reckless and costly to local residents”.

“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 breathtaking, with some 31 cars attacked. Many had their wing mirrors smashed and some received dents to bodywork and damage to number plates.”

Councillor Verner added: “My party colleagues and I will be maintaining close contact with the PSNI over this investigation and we will be pressing for full compensation for residents to be pursued from anyone convicted of this senseless and pointless crime.”

Police have appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact them by calling the new non-emergency number 101.