VANDALS have targeted cars parked across Canvey during a spate of late-night attacks.

The Echo reported last week that five parked cars, in Hawkesbury Road, were damaged after paint stripper was thrown over them, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

However, it has now been revealed roads including First Avenue, Hilton Road and Ash Road have also been hit.

At least seven more cars have been severely damaged and it is thought paint stripper was again used to damage the cars.

One owner said the street light switch-off across Castle Point is making it difficult to catch the yobs, as noone was caught on CCTV.

Emma Huer, of Ash Road, said it could cost her hundreds of pounds to repair the bodywork of her blue Fiat Punto.

She said: “I am absolutely furious. I don’t want to go through my insurance because I’ll have to pay a £300 excess.

“I have better things to spend my money on. I have no idea why people would target these cars. It doesn’t make any sense. And it seems like they are going for fairly new cars. I don’t know if it is a jealousy thing, but it’s ridiculous. I go out to work, my husband goes out to work. It’s the last thing we need.”

Steven Cole, Canvey Independent councillor for Winter Garden ward, blames the street light switch-off.

He said: “I just think it’s ironic they have switched off the lights and it seems the crime rate is going up. When the lights go out it’s scary outside, especially for women, they feel so threatened.”

A police spokesman said the damage had been caused between 10am on Tuesday, April 22, and 8am on Wednesday, April 23.