A taxi boss suspects sabotage by rivals after paint stripper was poured on four of his cars just weeks after moving to a new patch.
The vehicles from Nateby, over Wyre, and Preston company GCL Taxis were all badly damaged between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Managing director Bob Horman said today he fears it points towards a rival taxi firm, as the four cars were all parked at different drivers’ home addresses.
Mr Horman, who lives in Nateby, said: “Taxi wars should be a thing of the past. If they’re expecting retaliation, they’ll be disappointed because I won’t stoop to that level.”
The company has 42 cars which work across the Garstang and Preston areas and, although Mr Horman worries some of the cars may be written off, he promises it won’t affect his customers.
He said: “One of the executive cars which was vandalised was parked outside my house, so it must be someone with knowledge of the business.
It’ll stretch our resources but we’ll be able to cover it
“I know lots of people in the taxi world and although the evidence suggests it would be a rival firm, I just can’t think of anyone who would do this.
“There’s no doubt the company has been targeted and hopefully between the four incidents the police can find out who’s done this.”
The Nateby-based company only expanded to Cartmell Lane, Preston, four weeks ago and Mr Horman thinks he may have been targeted because of the success of the business.
He said: “We’ve been very successful since expanding to Preston and that could be a reason why we’ve been targeted. We always put our customers first, do things the right way and we have very high standards so I’d be very disappointed if this was someone who was in the taxi business.
“It’ll stretch our resources but we’ll be able to cover it.
““The people who I feel sorry for are the drivers as they’ll have to pay their excess on the cars and lose their no claims bonus.
“One thing we’ll certainly be doing is upping security at our houses, so that’ll probably mean security cameras.
“I’m sure we’ll find out who did this, it’s a very silly thing to do.”
A police spokesman said: “We are investigating criminal damage to the taxis between 10.15pm on Monday, October 19, and 6.50am on Tuesday, October 20.
“The paint stripper has caused thousands of pounds of damage. Anyone with information should call 101 and quote the log number 146.”
Mark Selley, secretary of the Preston Hackney Carriage Association, said: “There has always been rivalry been taxi firms because staff leave one for the other and some poach customers but as far as I know it’s always been just competitive rivalry and nothing sinister.
“I should hope the police will get to the bottom of this because it’s something which shouldn’t be going on.”