Austins, Mor­rises and Tri­umph dam­aged by drug-smok­ing van­dals – and they leave a £30k re­pair bill

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - FRONT PAGE -

A22-strong col­lec­tion of clas­sic Bri­tish cars has been wrecked by cannabis smok­ing thugs. Austins, Mor­rises, a Singer, and a Tri­umph have been trashed by thugs af­ter they broke into a set of units in Malvern, Worces­ter­shire. Win­dows were bro­ken, roofs were caved in, and wing mir­rors smashed.

Col­lec­tion co-owner Will Roberts dis­cov­ered the trashed units, and es­ti­mates it will cost at least £30,000 to re­pair the dam­age.

He says: ‘To see our pride and joys pulled apart left me in huge shock. It didn’t com­pute. There were bags full of crisp wrap­pers, drink cans, and even a bong, so we’re pretty sure it was young peo­ple. Our col­lec­tion seemed to be safe. How wrong we were.’

A22-strong col­lec­tion of Austins, Mor­rises, a Singer, and a Tri­umph has been wrecked by drugsmok­ing thugs af­ter they broke into a set of units, van­dal­is­ing ev­ery­thing in sight and caus­ing thou­sands of pounds-worth of dam­age.

Will Roberts, co-owner of the col­lec­tion, was dev­as­tated whe he dis­cov­ered the trashed units in Leigh Sin­ton, near Malvern, Worces­ter­shire, on 31 Oc­to­ber.

He says: ‘I came to the stor­age units to move some cars around and I dis­cov­ered the ini­tial dam­age. On fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the dam­age be­came more size­able. To see our pride and joys pulled apart left me in huge shock, it didn’t com­pute.

‘There were bags full of crisps wrap­pers, drinks cans, and even a bong, strewn around among the dam­aged cars, so we’re pretty sure it was young peo­ple.’

Will and a friend of his, who asked to re­main anony­mous, started the col­lec­tion in 2002. It mainly com­prises of rare and low mileage Austins. He says ‘ We had a quick add-up of car val­ues, which came to about £70,000. In the col­lec­tion is a su­per-rare A35 pickup and the old­est Austin AS3 left, as well as a Mor­ris 1300 with only 15,000 miles from new. Now it has a dented roof and burns on the front seats, as well as bro­ken in­te­rior han­dles.

‘ We have es­ti­mated about £30,000 worth of dam­age in to­tal. Our col­lec­tion has grown and changed in this time but seemed to be safe in these premises. How wrong we were.’

Paul Roberts, or­gan­i­sa­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions as­sis­tant for War­wick­shire and West Mer­cia Po­lice says: ‘The in­ci­dent is be­lieved to have hap­pened some time be­tween mid­night on Mon­day 24 Oc­to­ber and 8.30am on Mon­day 31 Oc­to­ber, when an un­known of­fender or of­fend­ers forced en­try to a unit in the area. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing.’

For­mer Metropoli­tan Po­lice of­fi­cer and the The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Auto Theft In­ves­ti­ga­tors’ com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Ken Ger­man says: ‘The po­lice are par­tic­u­larly wor­ried about van­dal­ism, and an up­surge in crim­i­nal dam­age and un­ruly be­hav­iour from young­sters. Much of this seems co-or­di­nated, as seen on sev­eral in­ci­dents over Hal­loween.’

Want­ing to move on from the or­deal, Will is ask­ing read­ers for help in find­ing parts to re­place those dam­aged. Mostly, he needs glass for his se­lec­tion of Austins.

Mur­ray Scullion

If you can help with the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion call the po­lice on 101 If you can help with parts sourc­ing, con­tact edi­to­rial@clas­s­ic­car­weekly.co.uk

No clas­sic was left un­touched by van­dals who broke into this stor­age unit near Malvern.

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