WE WILL not be beaten by thugs - that was the defiant message from a car dealer after an attack by vandals damaged every vehicle on their forecourt.
Victoria Deane, sales manager of Spring Gardens Car Centre in Grange Lane, Accrington, said: "The worst thing is not knowing who did it, or why. As far as we know we have no enemies, but we will not be intimidated."
The attack, which is being investigated by police, came on a Saturday night.
Victoria added: "It must have taken the vandals at least half-an-hour to do their work. I am amazed no-one saw anything."
In the raid 35 cars were sprayed with paint stripper or battery acid, causing thousands of pounds damage.
Victoria, who runs the budget car garage with her father, Stan Batty, said it was impossible to work out the exact cost of the mayhem.
She added: "Some vehicles suffered only minor damage while others received substantial damage.
"But every one was hit in some way. All were parked outside on the forecourt. I'm absolutely devastated. I've been crying all week."
The spray attack caused paintwork on the vehicles to bubble and blister. On some even the tyres were burned.
Victoria had just returned from holiday in Turkey when the attack occured and she only found about it when she was told by her father on the Sunday afternoon.
The pair took over the business in May, selling cars at budget prices, aiming at new drivers and families wanting a second car.
According to Victoria the excess insurance they will have to pay will not cover the cost of the repairs which they will have to try to do themselves.
But in a defiant message to the attackers, she said: "Whoever you are, and someone must know who you are, we will not be beaten by thugs. We will not be chased out of business or intimidated.
"The vehicles will have to be sold at a loss but we will not go away."
Police, who are investigating, have appealed for witnesses.
They can be contacted on 08451 253545 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.