VANDALS have ravaged a Wagga car yard and dealt more than $100,000 damage during a New Year’s Day “demolition derby”.
Pickles Auctions staff returned to the warehouse on Thursday to discover dozens of vehicles with smashed windshields, defaced paint jobs and extensive panel damage.
Investigators revealed the perpetrators gained access to the yard by burrowing beneath an electric fence late at night on New Year’s Day.
It is believed a small group of people entered 47 cars and inflicted serious damage to 25 of them.
Nine sets of keys were also stolen – tallying an additional $13,500 in costs.
The trail of destruction has left the close-knit staff devastated, horrified by the senseless damage the business has suffered.
A number of the vehicles had also recently been purchased, meaning Pickles will be forced to refund money to the buyers.
Wagga Local Area Command acting inspector Nigel Turney said the act of vandalism is one of the most costly that Wagga had ever seen.
“This a lot of damage for a business to be forced to deal with,” he said.
“Some of the cars have been driven around the yard by the unknown persons – with police citing evidence of burnouts in the yard.
“No one was there so we can only speculate how the damage was inflicted.
“A couple of t-shirts have been collected from the scene to undergo DNA testing so we can determine if any of them are known on the database.”
Despite the setback, Pickles held its first auction of the year on Thursday with clients flowing through its doors.
David Bartell and his wife Sarah were among those gathered at the Pickles warehouse to seek out a new set of wheels.
Mr Bartell slammed the vandals for trying to destroy a “hard-working” Wagga company.
“The guys and girls there all seemed like they were just trying their best,” he said.
“Nobody is off-limits from this type of thing anymore.”
Several prestigious vehicles were written off as a result of the incident.
Insurance aside, the business is still expected to be tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.