Published: 17:42, 03 June 2020
| Updated: 19:01, 03 June 2020
A car dealership has suffered thousands of pounds in damage due to catapult attacks.
Lipscomb in Chart Road, Ashford, has been left with three cars needing repairs after two successive nights of vandalism.
The first attack took place at about 12.45am on Friday, when four people can be seen on CCTV crossing the road towards the showroom followed by one of the car's alarm lights going off.
Assessing the damage the following day, the branch's aftersales director Barry Wilson noted two driver's doors had been dented and their windows smashed.
The following night, four individuals - possibly the same four - approached the site with two greyhound or whippet-type dogs and the same damage was done to a third car.
Mr Wilson said: "I was just taking a day off on Friday when I had a phone call from the manager of our Maidstone branch to ask if I knew about the incidents on the forecourt.
"We moved the cars towards the back of the forecourt so they are away from the area they were shooting from.
"We've had three cars attacked with the cost in excess of £1,000 per car - the damage is quite substantial.
"Something's got to be done - looking at the damage the ball bearings did and the distance they travelled, if someone gets in the way of one they could be seriously hurt."
This weekend's events follow a similar episode in October, when a ball bearing was fired at a car, bouncing off and hitting one of Lipscomb's windows before it hit a second car.
At the time, Mr Wilson said the police were aware of other nearby businesses suffering the same assaults.
A police spokesman said: "Kent Police was contacted on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 and criminal damage to cars in Chart Road, Ashford was reported.
"The damage is believed to have taken place between 12.40am and 12.50am on Friday 29 May and between 3.30pm on Friday 29 May and 10.30am on Saturday 30 May.
"Anyone with any information is urged to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/92000/20.
"You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org"
Despite the recent setback, discussions are taking place on when to reopen the Chart Road site.
Mr Wilson said: "We're very much looking forward to reopening.
"We're making a decision on when to reopen in Ashford over the next few days."
The showroom is set to close after 24 years in the town, following the unveiling of a plan for flats on the site.
While it is not known when this will happen, or how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the process, Lipscomb will increase focus on its Chartham and Aylesford dealerships.