An angry trader has put up a £500 reward in an effort to stem the tide of mindless vandalism to his premises.
Brian Kendal, owner of the Va-Purr Lounge, Hough Lane, Leyland, has suffered a spate of attacks at his electronic cigarette shop.
And he is not alone, as other neighbouring business owners say they, too, are reeling from a crime spree ranging from broken windows to burglaries.
Brian said his shop had been targeted by a ball bearing attacker, who he unfortunately could not capture on CCTV as he was having his shop sign changed and the camera was down. But the vandalism continued when a hooded cyclist struck in the early hours, which was caught on CCTV.
“We got attacked with a brick thrown at the middle window, but it bounced off,” said Brian. “He gets off his bike, runs back and throws it through the first window.”
Former fireman Brian, who also has a shop in Ormskirk, said he had had food daubed on his windows, vehicles scratched, windows broken, and had even sealed up his letterbox for fear of petrol attacks.
He said: “I don’t blame the police, I worked alongside them for thirty years. In my eyes, they haven’t got the funding, or if they have it’s being channelled in the wrong direction.”
His latest window damage cost £2,000. He says his £500 reward is for “a successful conviction of the culprit”.
Meanwhile, Mike Swanson, who runs SOS Computers repair shop, was burgled – the raiders getting away with three customers’ computers worth almost £3,000.
“My window was put through at the same time,” he said. “There’s been thirty smashed windows in the last six weeks. This has been going on for a good six months. If you put shutters up it just makes Leyland look ugly. Shutters for my shop is going to cost £2,000. I think people are getting a bit fed up.
“Everybody knows the CCTV camera at the roundabout doesn’t work, and the whole of Chapel Brow up there, all of their windows have gone through.”
He added: “The next two months, it’s going to be a struggle because I have to pay the customers.”
Sergeant Mark Douglas, of Leyland Police, said: “We did have a short spate of damage in the town centre, not burglaries, more wanton criminal damage. We immediately put additional patrols into the area and commenced investigations. Thankfully the damage has stopped, but investigations into who’s committed that damage is still ongoing.
“I’m aware of the community’s concerns and have been working with the traders to improve crime prevention.”