Appeal after man threatened with hammer by gang of vandals
A man was threatened with a hammer after confronting a group of vandals following an incident in Middleton this week.
Arthur Day heard the commotion, which took place on the site of a family-run business at Middleton Hall Farm, at around 11.15am on Monday.
After discovering four youths were smashing the glass of seven vehicles, the 66-year-old confronted the group.
Before fleeing the scene, one of the perpetrators subsequently threatened Mr Day with a hammer.
Elizabeth Brown, who owns MCV engineering Ltd with husband Anthony and father-in-law Alan, was left shocked when she was informed of the incident.
“If they had hit him, he could have been in hospital,” said Mrs Brown, adding that she was surprised that such a crime could take place in a rural location.
The 39-year-old explained that a dog walker had witnessed one of the youths drop a hammer as they fled.
The perpetrators returned to the site later that day at around 6.30pm and were again confronted by a worker from the site.
Mrs Brown, who has run the business, which specialises in restoring large vehicles, including buses and lorries, for three years, said this was the first time the site had been targeted by vandals.
One of the damaged buses was a Routemaster (RML), thought to have been manufactured more than half a century ago.
A van and six buses, which were vandalised, are expected to cost thousands of pounds to repair, while some of the replacement windscreens on the buses will require custom-made glass panels.
Customers, whose vehicles were targeted, have been informed by the garage.
“They’re not best pleased,” said Mrs Brown, who expressed her gratitude after some owners had offered to cover part of the cost.
Anyone with information is asked to call Essex Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 42/62872/19.
Alternatively, contact the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.