Hammer wielding thugs vandalise moving cars in Dagenham in a spate of attacks

Two people on a moped who allegedly smashed up a vulnerable mum's car with a hammer.

Two people on a moped who allegedly smashed up a vulnerable mum's car with a hammer. - Credit: Archant

Hammer wielding moped thugs have been smashing windscreens and denting bonnets of moving cars in what could be a string of related attacks.

The Post recieved four seperate reports of attacks in Dagenham on Tuesday - three on learner drivers accompanied by instructors and one on a 72-year-old man.

Police have confirmed they are investigating a spate of attacks, with incidents also being reported in Romford. Despite the attacks occuring around the same time and in the same area it is not yet clear if they were carried out by the same people.

David Bailey, the 72-year-old man, had his car targetted at 8am on Becontree Avenue.

He said: “It’s absolutely terrifying - I was moving along slowly and all of a sudden I heard a bang. I thought I’d hit something so I stopped, then there were these two men peering in through my window.

“I thought they’d tried to smash my window and pour acid in.

“I don’t think they were trying to steal my car, I think they were just out to cause trouble. I’m an old man with grey hair, it was quite a shock.”

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Aamir Hoban, a driving instructor, was with a pupil on Green Lane at 10am when his car was vandalised. His dashcam captured the incident on film.

“It was very scary. These two men were going along slowly, then they just started vandalising my car.”

In Romford, a woman was driving along London Road when a moped zoomed past her at around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

She braked hard to avoid them, but the riders swerved around in a U-turn and began to scream and swear at her.

Fearing for her safety, and worried about a possible acid attack, she drove away, but the pair followed her through some backstreets.

The thugs then sped in front of her, forcing her to stop.

The backseat rider then got off the moped and smashed her rear window with a hammer.

Her partner said: “She was absolutely terrified and didn’t know what to do.”

“She feared he was going to spray acid.

“She was a woman, coming home alone going to pick up her boys and the attack was completely unprovoked, it was disgraceful.

“I feel so angry, these people have no respect for anyone and they are destroying people’s lives by going around and causing havoc.”

Det Sgt Dean Grafton, who is leading Operation Venice in the tri-borough area, the Met’s programme to stop moped enabled crime, said: “At this early stage we cannot confirm whether the incidents are linked.

“I can confirm police are investigating reports of persons on a moped causing criminal damage to vehicles in the Dagenham area that occurred on Tuesday.

“Two males were arrested yesterday afternoon on a stolen moped and have both since been released under investigation.

“Police continue to tackle moped enabled crime under Operation Venice.

“Any witnesses or victims to any such incidents should report these matters to 101 or 999 in an emergency.”