UPDATE: 9.30pm

GWENT Police have arrested a 30-year-old man from Newport on suspicion of causing criminal damage to vehicles in the city.

In the early hours of Monday morning, over 100 cars were vandalised in the Somerton area, chiefly on Hawthorne Avenue and the surrounding roads with vehicles suffering from deflated tyres.

Police set up a mobile police station in Somerton to allow residents to speak to a member of the force, but had to repeat the action in St Julian’s yesterday morning after reports of similar incidents.

Twelve cars on Heather Road were reported to have flat tyres, with mobile tyre fitters from across Gwent on hand again to help stricken motorists.

“It’s not on the same scale as Monday but I have seen at least seven or eight cars with deflated tyres on Heather Road,” said Daniel Laws from Fast Fit Tyres in Torfaen.

“One customer had driven down the road before he noticed that something wasn’t right.”

“He then looked around and notice that a number of the road-facing tyres appear to have been slashed – it looks like a copycat attack but on a much smaller scale,” he added.

Owan Muhammad has helped residents in both areas of the city get back on the road after the spate of slashings, but is uncertain over the cause.

“I believe that it was just kids messing around but who knows until the police find out more,” he said, who owns Newport’s ACE tyres.

“We have fixed a huge number of tyres in the past 48 hours, which is strange as Christmas is usually a quiet time of the year.”

Mr Muhammad added that as a gesture of goodwill to those affected in Somerton or latterly in St Julian’s, his company is waiving a number of charges.

“To help out residents in either area of Newport, we are continuing our free service and recovery for anyone living in Somerton or St Julian’s, and the number to call is 07790 184069,” he said.

Gwent Police are appealing for any more information into the incidents, and anyone with details is urged to call 101, quoting log 29 21/12/15

UPDATE 10.57am:

A 30-year-old man from Newport has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

Gwent Police are still appealing for information after cars had their tyres slashed.

If anyone has any information, please call 101, quoting log 29 21/12/15

UPDATE 10.38am:

Up to eight cars were found to have flat tyres Heather Road in St Julian’s.

Fast Fit Tyres from Torfaen, who repaired a number of tyres yesterday, were called to the road. 

“The customer who called drove down the road before he noticed that something wasn’t right,” said company director Daniel Laws.

“He then looked around and notice that a number of the road-facing tyres appear to have been slashed – it looks like a copycat attack but on a much smaller scale.”

Mr Laws added that he has seen a police mobile van is in place on Heather Road.

“It’s not on the same scale as yesterday but I have seen at least seven or eight cars with deflated tyres on Heather Road,” he added.

“Once again, if anyone is affected by this in the area, we will be waiving our call out fees in cases of vandalism.”

UPDATE 10.32am:
Tuesday 22 Dec 

MORE tyre slashing attacks have been made in Newport overnight with cars having their tyres deliberately punctured in St Julians.

UPDATE 7.25pm:
Monday 21 Dec 

AN ESTIMATED 150 cars had their tyres slashed overnight in the Somerton area of Newport.

The roads around Acacia Avenue, Hawthorne Avenue and Sycamore Avenue were targeted in the early hours of Monday, forcing Gwent Police to set up a mobile police station.

Residents awoke to find one, or in some cases both their road-facing tyres deflated, many concerned over the financial implications so close to Christmas.

“I have been out of work since October and just had the good news that I will be starting a new job in January, so I really need the car,” said Robert Davies, 60, of Sycamore Avenue.

“To have to pay out for this to be done so close to Christmas has just put a dampener on it.”

The precise timings of the vandalism acts remains unknown, as householders on the estate went to bed with their tyres fully intact.

“I was out here at 1.30 in the morning and the cars were fine at that point,” said Laburnum Drive resident Katie Morrison.

“The dogs were unsettled at about three in the morning but I didn’t think much of it.

“My neighbour left for work at about 5.30 and every single car on my road had been attacked,” she added.

Gwent Police are appealing for information on the acts of vandalism, and anyone with information is urged to call 101, quoting log 29 21/12/15.

UPDATE: 5.19pm

Dan Laws, director at Torfaen-based Fast Fit Tyres, has fitted tyres to nearly 30 cars in one day.

He said: "I went over there early in the morning, at about 7 o’clock and after seeing the extent of the damage to all the cars, I decided to waive the call out charges.

"In one day alone, I’ve fitted tyres to around 20 or 30 cars and there were other companies in the area fixing others.

"It looks like there was a small slash made with a blade to the side wall of the wheel – there’s no way this can be an accident, it’s definitely intentional."

He said anyone who is affected by the incidents can call his company and he will continue to waive the call out fees and offer services at a reasonable price "in the spirit of Christmas".

UPDATE: 4.27pm

Michael Jones, who lives at Laburnum Drive, said: "To have this happen four days before Christmas is the worst thing.

"Annoyingly I’ve just replaced the front tyre on the opposite side and now this one has gone thanks to some thugs.

"In two years I’ve had eight punctures. I’m not saying all those are directly caused by acts of vandalism but it does make you think how the similar problem can happen so frequently.

"My wife and I rely on our car. She is disabled with reduced mobility and we need access to our car so that I can drive her around to the places she needs to go.

"Luckily we have until Thursday to sort this out but it’s the point of it – why would someone do this?

"This area is known for having a bit of a reputation but nothing on this level - to have so many cars affected in our place is unbelievable."

UPDATE: 3.20pm

Ali Muhammed, the owner of Mace newsagents on Acacia Avenue said: "It apparently happened last night but I didn't hear anything.

"Unfortunately my CCTV cameras are out and that may have helped. But if they were hooded, then who knows.

"I feel bad for the families who can't afford to get their tyres fixed. This close to Christmas too - it'll have a real impact.

"This is such mindless thuggery. I just can't understand it.

"It's been done before in the few years I've lived here but not on this scale.

"I've had a number of people come in and mention they'd been targeted.

"These cards are popping up with advertising tyres so it does make you wonder, but they could have been put on cars this morning.

"But the people who've done this seem to have known what they were doing.

UPDATE: 2.27pm

Katie Morrison, of Laburnum Drive, said: "I was out here last night at 1.30 and the cars were fine at that point.

"The dogs were unsettled at about three in the morning but I didn't think much of it. But my neighbour left for work at about half five and all the cars on my road have been attacked.

"Every single car on this road was targeted. Why would anyone do this?

"It's ruined my plans for Christmas and New Year. I was supposed to be going way. The worst thing is that I can't afford this. I'm absolutely gutted."

UPDATE: 12.43pm

A Sycamore Avenue resident of eight years, Robert Davies, 60, said it has put a "dampener on Christmas".

He said: "I was told by a neighbour this morning that the two tyres on my car had been slashed. Police said they were aware of 90 cars. We have never had anything like it here.

"I have been out of work since October and just had the good news that I will be starting a new job in January, so I really need the car.

"To have to pay out for this to be done so close to Christmas has just put a dampener on it."

He said he had gone to bed about 1.30am and didn't hear anything.

"I have heard that this mindless vandalism has been carried out all over Ringland," he added.

Mr Davies said a neighbour of his who had been targeted in the past, had CCTV installed so is hopeful his cameras may have filmed those carry out the act.

UPDATE: 11.59am

Argus reporter Hayley Mills is at the scene in Somerton. She says there are still lots of cars on the roads with tyres deflated, some with multiple tyres slashed. Lots of recovery vans in the area.

Kevin Gray, who has been a resident on Linden Road for over 14 years, said it was just "pointless vandalism".

He said: "I didn't hear anything in the night, but when I got up this morning I saw a neighbour having his tyre changed but never thought anything of it.

"Then he ran over to tell me my car tyre had been slashed too.

"We have experienced minor vandalism in this area over the years but nothing of this scale."

Leanne Richards posted this shot of a car with its tyres slashed this morning:

UPDATE: 11.45am

Dave Jones from Discount Tyres in Newport said the firm is struggling to cope with demand in Somerton.

He said: “At the moment I am taking another seven [tyres] out now.

“My guess is [the company has fitted] probably about 24 tyres – but it’s growing all the time because every time we go up the street there is someone else.”

He said most cars have had two tyres slashed but he is aware of one with three tyres and another with all four having been ruined. Mr Jones said the company is waiving call-out charges for people affected and that mobile vans from Cwmbran and Cardiff have been drafted in to help.

UPDATE: 11.29am

Some people are reporting cars have had windscreens smashed, paint stripper thrown and wing mirrors smashed off.

UPDATE: 11.26am

Gwent Police have set up a mobile police station on Hawthorne Avenue after the tyre slashings overnight.

They ask if anyone notices criminal damage to their vehicle, or has any information about this that they either visit the mobile station or call 101, quoting log 29 21/12/15.

UPDATE: 11.09am

Tyres have been slashed on all streets across Somerton: Linden Road, Acacia Avenue, Sycamore Avenue, Hawthorn Fosse and Hawthorn Avenue.

Matthew James posted these pictures of the cars with slashed tyres in Somerton:

UPDATE: 11.05am

105 cars are reported to have had their tyres slashed across Somerton

UPDATE: 10.58am

Sycamore Avenue resident Paul Edwards said up to 20 cars on Sycamore Avenue have their tyres slashed and that several mobile tyre fitters have been working there.

He added: “My neighbours are saying nothing like this has happened – so it is quite disappointing so close to Christmas.”

Mr Edwards added: “I was one of the lucky ones but all around my car there have been others done on the other side.”

UPDATE: 10.22am

UP to 20 cars are reported to have had their tyres slashed in Somerton during the night.

The incidents are reported on Sycamore Avenue and on Laburnum Drive.