A Bangor car dealership could be facing disaster if its insurance does not cover damage caused to its entire stock in a vicious acid attack.
Richard Dorrian’s business, based on the Belfast Road, was targeted by a gang in the early hours of Friday.
Police said the damage was estimated to be £50,000 and that it was carried out by a gang of three men.
Mr Dorrian told the News Letter: “There was paint stripper aid thrown over all 28 cars. There were three people in hoodies caught on CCTV but you can’t see their faces. They did every single car in the parking lot.
“We have no clue as to the reason why. We have no idea why this was done. Most of our customers are repeat buyers. We have no idea why we have been targeted.”
The business has not had any further feedback from the police on possible motives since Friday.
“Lots of customers and car dealers have been phoning us,” said Mr Dorrian.
“We have had loads of calls from people who say they will be glad to help us out.
“But the problem is that we have no stock to sell now. We are still doing MOTs and repairs, but this could bring us to our knees.
“The help being offered is really reassuring but unless our insurance pays out we are stuffed. We told them about the damage on Friday but have not had any feedback from them as yet.
“People are not going to buy damaged cars. The only option we have is to sell them at auction.
“It is a really worrying and disturbing time. I have been in business here for 26 years.
“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about who did this to bring it to the police.”
DUP MLA Alex Easton said: “I have no doubt in my mind that this was a premeditated attack by these individuals, which has caused extensive damage to a local business. This is just not an acceptable thing to be happening in Bangor.
“These mindless thugs not only damaged cars, they could have also caused injury to a person that came in contact with the acid.”
DUP MLA Peter Weir said the attack would “threaten the company and its staff”.
He added: “As someone whose office is very close to the location, I am only too aware of the valuable contribution that the firm is making to the local economy, and their positive contribution contrasts sharply with the thugs who carried this out.”
North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne slammed those responsible.
“I am shocked and appalled at this attack on this car business which, like many businesses, is finding it difficult enough to survive without being the subject of a mindless attack like this,” he said.
He added: “Anyone with any knowledge of this attack should report it to the PSNI in Bangor immediately.”
The PSNI said they are keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Belfast Road area after midnight on Friday morning. The number to call is 0845 600 8000.