Rampaging teens leave trail of fear and damage in Leicestershire village
Villagers were left terrified after a group of teenagers went on a rampage, smashing cars and shop windows.
Up to 20 youngsters were involved in the attacks, which caused widespread damage in Narborough on Monday night.
Windows at a newsagents, a cafe and a hardware shop in the village were smashed. The thugs also destroyed a wall and used the bricks to damage cars.
The vandals – estimated to be aged 14 to 16 and mostly boys – then smashed every window in a church hall.
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Their spree of vandalism began at the Mercury News Shop, in Coventry Road, at about 8pm.
David Ovington-Creighton, 38, was buying cigarettes when about 10 youngsters went into the shop and refused to leave. "Only two are allowed in at a time and the lady who works there was asking them to leave," he said.
"They were shouting abuse, calling her names and swearing at her.
"She was shaking. We got them out and locked the door and she called 999.
"One got a wheelie bin and threw it and broke the window. They were throwing bricks around, too.
"They then went out destroying the rest of the village."
Shop manager Dilys Smith, who was not in the store at the time, said one window was smashed during the incident – and that two others had also been broken by vandals the night before.
"It all adds up and while head office will sort it, it is going to go against our profits," she said.
"I'm not sure yet how much it will cost to fix," she said. "Why are parents not in control of their kids?"
The group then targeted a cafe and Narborough Hardware and DIY Shop, in Leicester Road.
Hardware shop owner Zoheir Broachwalla, who has been in the village for 10 years, said the vandals smashed two side windows that would cost between £300 and £400 to replace.
"Times are very difficult at the moment, everybody knows that," he said.
"Something such as this happens and it leaves a big hole in your pocket.
"This is a nice village and when something like this happens, everyone is concerned about it.
"I think the answer is to put CCTV up everywhere. It would be nice to see more police around."
After attacking the store, the thugs are believed to have congregated in a car park outside elderly people's sheltered accommodation in Chapel Court, off Leicester Road.
There, they pulled bricks off the top of a wall and hurled them at cars, smashing a windscreen.
A woman who was visiting her 86-year-old mother in Chapel Court said she heard an "enormous bang".
She said: "They had gathered in the car park outside and knocked one of the coping bricks off the top of the wall nearby. They were throwing them at the cars and smashing a guy's car window.
"It is disgusting and I'm raging. My mother now says she is frightened to be in her own home."
After the incident in Chapel Court, the teenagers ran along a lane connecting the housing complex to Narborough Congregational Church, in School Lane, pulling about 10 more bricks off the top of the wall as they went.
They smashed all the windows at the neighbouring Robjohn Church Hall and tried to break down the door, terrifying a women's badminton group who were inside.
Church leader Mick Sawyer, who was in a church committee meeting in a room next door, said the badminton players were "very frightened" by the incident.
He said at least £500 of damage was caused.
"It's a shame some youngsters have to go round doing this," Mr Sawyer said.
"They have got parents. If they knew what they were doing, maybe they might apply some discipline."
Police are in the process of taking statements and scanning CCTV footage to identify those responsible.
Sergeant Mike Cawley, of Blaby police station, said: "We are extremely disappointed with the behaviour of some youths who were congregating in the area.
"There were a number of reports of thoughtless damage in the area which we are taking extremely seriously."
He said he was aware of previous incidents of anti-social behaviour and said plain-clothes and uniformed officers had been patrolling hot-spots.
"Sporadic groups of youngsters are gathering in the area but this needs to be balanced with the fact not all young people are there to commit anti-social behaviour," Sgt Cawley said. "Any groups seen gathering in the area causing a nuisance are being dispersed.
"We would also ask parents and guardians to help us by ensuring they know where their children are and what they are doing."
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and bailed pending further inquiries.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents or the youths involved should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
• Police arrested two more teenagers a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old youth yesterday evening (Tuesday February 19). They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.