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Vandals in late-night attack on beach huts in Lyme Regis
Vandals went on a late-night seafront rampage in Lyme Regis breaking into beach huts and smashing bottles.
Ten local people, aged between 16 and 19, are being questioned by police after two huts at Monmouth Beach were burgled and trashed, and bottles were shattered on the beach and in Marine Parade Shelters.
A storage box on the Cart Road was also broken into and a restaurant sign was stolen.
Police have branded the damage ‘disgusting’.
It happened overnight on Wednesday, January 2 and town council workers discovered the damage on Thursday morning.
By Thursday evening police had identified 10 potential culprits.
PC Winward said he has made enquiries with local youths and 10 locals, aged between 16 and 19, are being brought in for questioning over the next two weeks.
“Most have already been visited and various admissions have been made. Formal interviews will be taking place in the next two weeks at the police station.”
PC Winward said vandals targeted beach huts at Monmouth Beach.
“The windows were smashed on one hut and all the chairs and things inside strewn around,” he said.
“A gas bottle was turned on the lid, which is quite dangerous, it could have exploded.
“Another one was forced open and everything inside was messed around. We don’t know yet if anything was stolen.
“It looks like they intended to cause damage and maybe sit around in the beach huts. It looks like they have put the gas bottle on to use as heating.
“The amount of damage they have caused is disgusting, as well as the mess on the beach with smashed bottles and mugs from the beach hut.”
The beach huts are privately owned but a site licence is paid to Lyme Regis Town Council.
Town clerk Mike Lewis said council workers cleared up the mess on Thursday morning.
Mr Lewis said: “Two beach huts were broken into. I think the owners have been contacted and our chaps have made them secure like they usually do.
“There was quite a lot of broken glass in the Marine Parade Shelters but the shelters themselves seem to be okay.”
PC Winward said a storage box for the hair braiding concession was also broken into and the chairs inside were placed on top of the beach huts, and a sign stolen from outside Largigi Thai restaurant.
Tina Cable, from Largigi, said the sign was gone by 9.30pm.
“It’s about 5ft high and 3ft wide so they can’t have got very far with it,” she said.
PC Winward believes all the incidents are related.
“The smashed bottles at the beach huts were the same as the smashed bottles at the shelters so they probably are linked,” he said.
“It seems too much of a coincidence not to be.”
PC Winward highlighted the fact that there is no CCTV at the Marine Parade Shelters, which might have helped catch the culprits.
The town council agreed to spend up to £15,000 on cameras in July 2011, but the process has been held up by the planning system.
Mr Lewis said the council is still awaiting approval from West Dorset District Council.