Staff at a South Tyneside car wash have been left terrified after their business was peppered by air rifle pellets.
The waiting room, used by customers at Boldon Lane Hand Car Wash, in South Shields, had its windows put out by the pellets, with one of them becoming lodged in the back wall.
Chemical tanks, used by boss Suran Rassul to store cleaning fluids, were also hit during the attack.
Two workers were so scared by what had happened that they refused to stay on the site.
Mr Rassul said: “We’ve never had any trouble before and we don’t have any problems with anyone, so we don’t know why this has happened.
“Two of the staff were so scared they went home. There’s lots of bushes next to where they work, so they were worried they’d get shot at too, but they’ve now came back.”
There have, however, been two attacks on a nearby car wash in recent months. Read more here.
Coun Jeff Milburn, who regularly uses the car wash, says he is stunned that people are creating a danger with air rifles or pistols in this way.
He’s hoping that recent events may now deter others. On Tuesday, James Wilson, 24, was shot by armed police in Frenchman’s Way, Horsley Hill, South Shields, after officers received reports of a man in possession of a handgun.
Related story: Family anxiously awaiting news as man shot by police in South Shields remains critical
Coun Milburn said: “Staff have been left shaken by this.
“Just this week we’ve seen what happens when people walk the streets with weapons, whether they’re real guns, BB guns or air rifles.
“They can end up getting shot at by the police.
“In this instance, thankfully, nobody was injured.
“But we can’t have idiots going round firing rifles at businesses and causing damage like this.”
The attack on the car wash happened between 10pm on Tuesday, March 15 and 8am on Wednesday, March 16.
A spokesman from Northumbria Police said: “An unknown offender had used an air weapon to puncture liquid containers and a window causing damage.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number ‘17716316’.