Reward offered after vandals smash crane windows in Chepstow

SMASHED: the crane's broken windows

SHATTERED: the crane's broken windows

First published in News

A £100 reward is being offered for anyone helping to catch vandals who smashed the windows of a crane used by Chepstow Boat Club last Friday night, causing more than £1,000 of damage.

Richard Davies, 79, bought the 1970s era blue Grove crane around 14 years ago and now uses it to transport boats at Chepstow Boat Club.

Years of careful maintenance meant the eight-wheeled vehicle still worked well and had been taken to the boat club to move pontoons for winter repairs.

But now he and his partner Christine Norman, of Hardwick Hill, fear yobs broke into the locked site on The Back in Chepstow where it was parked to find somewhere warm and quiet where they could smoke.

Nearly all the windows in both the cab and the back of the crane have been broken, leaving shards of glass on the ground and floor of the cab and only jagged edges in the frames.

Mr Davies, one of the founding members of Chepstow Boat Club, said: “It’s just devastating. We never thought it would happen to a small club like us. I have had the crane for about 14 years and it’s a vintage thing now.”

The damage was discovered on Saturday morning by boat club members turning up to work on the pontoons.

Mr Davies was so upset by the vandalism that he is now offering a £100 reward from his own savings for anyone with information leading to the culprits being captured.

His partner Christine Norman said: “We think that possibly they broke in to sit somewhere quiet and smoke because there were tobacco packets down there.

“I reckon it will cost about £1500 to put the windows back in. We can’t drive it anywhere with no windows - until they are put back in, it’s unusable.

“Hopefully it won’t affect the club if we can get the windows put back in within the next week or so. I think they will have to be made to measure.

“Richard is absolutely devastated. It’s the only thing on his mind really. We’re anxious to get any information.”

To claim the reward, contact Gwent Police with information by calling 101 and quoting log number 187 22/02/14 and ask for details to be passed on to Mr Davies.

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