Sidmouth couple left £2,000 out of pocket after ‘mindless’ paint thinner attack on cars

PUBLISHED: 15:17 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:21 20 March 2019

The damage made to Danielle Downey's car. Picture: Danielle Downey

The damage made to Danielle Downey's car. Picture: Danielle Downey


A Sidmouth woman has been forced to install cameras outside of her home after her and husband’s cars were splashed with paint thinner.

The damage made to Danielle Downey's car. Picture: Danielle DowneyThe damage made to Danielle Downey's car. Picture: Danielle Downey

Danielle Downey said she noticed bubbled paint on her Volvo’s bonnet after shopping at Lidl last week – and the same on her other car driven by her husband.

The mum-of-six believes the incident was ‘mindless vandalism’, but has been forced to install the cameras after it left her £2,000 out of pocket.

One car is already in the garage receiving a new coat of paint, with her other vehicle is set to be looked at next week.

Mrs Downey, an author, said: “I thought it could have happened in the Lidl car park, but it [the paint] was dry.”

When Temple Street resident Mrs Downey, 44, returned home, she spotted melted paint on the front and side panels of her Audi.

“This has caused £2,000 worth of damage,” she said. “I think it happened overnight on the Monday (March 11).”

Mrs Downey told the Herald she was not the only victim – another motorist in her street had paint stripper splashed down the side of his van.

“I think it was kids,” she added. “On the Monday night, there were an awful lot of kids about.

“There is not normally that amount of kids about.

“I do not think it was anything targeted, I think it was someone who has no idea of the concept of how much it would cost somebody.

“I genuinely think it was mindless vandalism.”

The couple have now installed close circuit television cameras outside of their parking spot in a move which Mrs Downey hopes will act as a ‘deterrent’ to further incidents.

Mrs Downey, who only moved to Sidmouth less than two years ago, said she thinks a repeat of the incident would not happen in her street again.

Anyone with any information on the incident is urged to call police on 101, quoting CR022221/19

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