A CRIME wave is sweeping Whitby, leaving residents fearing their property will be targeted next.
Homes, vehicles and gardens across the town have been damaged in a series of incidents, with residents afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals.
A Gazette source, who asked not to be named said: “We have had experience of this before, and we’re afraid that if it goes in the press that we’ll become a target for further vandalism.
“I had some terracotta pots broken, one was an antique and had been picked up and thrown at the other so it wasn’t just an accident.
“One of my neighbours had two fence panels broken, another had a paddling pool that was smashed.
“It’s a game to them.”
Vincent Gamble and his wife Susan, both 67, have been the victims of repeated vandalism at their home on St Andrew’s Road.
Their garden fence has repeatedly been destroyed, to the extent that Mr Gamble no longer sees any point in repairing the damage: “There are not a lot of young people and it is a really quiet area.
“It could be anybody but this has been going on from September and the fence has been kicked down four or five times.
“I put it up and it got knocked down again, so what is the point in putting it back up just for it to be kicked down?”
Elsewhere a couple in their eighties in White Point Avenue, Whitby, reported youths running through their garden and damaging a fence, causing £120 worth of damage.
Sgt Jonathan Webb, Whitby Police, said: “This is obviously causing a lot of distress to these people who are mainly elderly.
“If anybody knows who is responsible or who sees youths behaving in an antisocial manner they should ring the police.”
Mr Gamble’s neighbour has also been a victim of harassment and vandalism.
Safer neighbourhood officer Sara Webb said: “Kids come creeping up his drive, frightening him half to death, and on Thursday night (18 February) damaged his car by scraping a sharp object along it.
“I have asked the PCSOs to increase patrols up there and I would encourage anybody who has seen incidents or knows who is doing this to report it to the police.”
Youngsters have also been reported causing damage to the allotments off Mayfield Road, with reports saying youths have also been firing air rifle pellets.
Under the current law it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to carry an air rifle and it is illegal for any person to carry an air rifle without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
To contact Whitby Police in strict confidence call 01723 509533.