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Birthday pair shot at as their £19k car is set on fire
8:00am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
A COUPLE’S birthday night out in Southend turned into a nightmare as yobs torched their car and fired shots at them.
The drama unfolded as the pair left the Rendezvous Casino, at the Kursaal, Eastern Esplanade, in the early hours.
The woman, 42, who had been out with her husband for his birthday, recalled: “We’d had a good night and lost a bit of money like you do.
“We walked out into the casino carpark, and I said to my husband ‘I think there’s someone in the car’.
“As I went around to the passenger side the mirror was smashed, and I could smell a strong stench of smoke from the car.
“I didn’t see anyone, but we thought we had better step back and we went to get the security guard.” She added that as they backed away from the £19,000 Ford Focus, they heard shots and saw the car windows smashing.
“It sounded like an air gun. It could have been a real gun for all we know.
“I couldn’t see who was shooting. If someone starts shooting at you, you’re not going to stand there and have a look, but it looked like it was coming from the other side of a wall at the back near the Kursaal estate.”
The couple called the police, and said when officers arrived, the yobs threw a bottle at police from over the same wall.
Police didn’t find anyone. The couple’s car was completely burnt inside. The victim, a teacher, said: “To think we’d been out for a really nice evening for my husband’s birthday and then that happened.
“We’d worked hard to get the money for that car, and it was completely gutted.
“It’s not like we’ve got another £19,000 lying around.
“Someone must have seen it or know who did it.
“I just hope they can tell police who it was, even if they do it anonymously.”
Johanna Johnston, club director at the casino, said: “Nothing like that has ever happened in our car park before.
“We have been cooperating with the police and increased our security since then.”
The suspects are two white men, aged between 17 and 20.
One had very short, blond hair, was 5ft 10ins tall and wearing a blue, hooded jacket, baggy trousers and black trainers.
The other was about 5ft 10ins tall, with short brown hair, wearing grey baggy trousers, a white T-shirt and white trainers.
A police spokesman said: “Officers carried out patrols in the immediate area and also carried out enquiries at nearby properties, but no suspects were found.
“We have so far been unable to identify the suspects.
“Without new information no further investigations are possible.”
Anyone with information about the incident, at about 4am on Friday, August 2, should call police at Southend on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
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