Emergency worker’s car covered in black paint while he was working

An emergency worker of the coronavirus crisis returned from work to find his car doused in black paint.

Alex Lee, who works alongside the emergency services in a support role as a mechanic, said he was left ‘angry, upset and disappointed’.

He was parked completely legally in a road without restrictions but it still didn’t stop one frustrated resident taking retribution.

And now he said his car is an insurance write-off.

Other residents in the road in Chertsey, Surrey, have also been targeted with notes left on cars and other criminal damage carried out.

Mr Lee, 34, parked in Hanworth Lane on Sunday and was still at work at 9am on Monday when he heard what had happened.

He told SurreyLive: ‘There have been long-running issues parking in the area. I have had a colleague park there previously because he had to self-isolate and he had a note left on his vehicle.

‘My car was parked up there and a friend who lives on the road was walking his dog at around 5.30pm on Sunday and he said it was fine.

‘He was doing the same the next day and I found out it had been covered in black gloss paint.

‘I was at work, but was there within five minutes and the paint was wet and still dripping.

‘I was upset, angry and disappointed that someone had stopped me working because of this. The car was a write-off once the paint set. It only passed its MOT two weeks ago.’

Police are now looking at doorstep cameras to try and find the culprit.

And they have also warned residents never to take action against people’s parking – but to ring 101 instead.

Meanwhile locals said they were horrified by what had happened.

Claire Nimmo said: ‘Absolutely disgusting thing to do – feel so sorry for the car owner.’

And Matt Price added: ‘The car belongs to a key worker who is working his socks off!

‘The car was parked completely legally, not blocking any driveways, drop kerbs etc…

‘Hope the person who did this is ashamed of themselves now! (I would put much stronger words but this is a public page).’

The police replied to the comment, saying: ‘Perfectly worded and your point very clearly made.

‘This situation will continue to be closely monitored and we’re in touch with the victim.’

A spokesman for Runnymede Police said: ‘We would like to speak to anyone who has information about this criminal damage which took place on Hanworth Lane in Chertsey between Sunday 29 March at 5.30pm and 9.20am on Monday 30 March.

‘House to house enquiries are being conducted this morning and residents are being spoken to as it would appear that this road, since it has no parking restrictions, is the subject of an ongoing situation with notes being left on screens among other acts of retribution.

‘If there are no restrictions and it’s not causing an obstruction, anyone can park outside your house. Anyone.

‘We would encourage anyone who has experienced problems in the road previously and who hasn’t reported it, to do the same.’