A NORTHALLERTON businessman, whose brand new £23,000 car was vandalised in an 'acid' attack, is so sickened by the incident he is considering leaving the town.
John Stapley's Mazda RX8 was just two weeks old when he woke to discover a substance "like acid" had burnt away the paint on eight of the car's panels.
He is now offering a reward of 2,000 to anyone who gives information that leads to a conviction.
Mr Stapley, who lives in the Springwell Lane of Northallerton, has created a successful internet work-wear business but says the incident makes him want to move away.
"I have worked hard to build up my business and then the first time I can afford a nice car it is trashed – it makes me want to leave this town for good," he said.
"People have stopped me in the street to say the same thing has happened to them. It seems there's a nutter or a group randomly vandalising cars in the Northallerton area."
It is at least the third similar incident in the area this year.
Another car owner reported that his Peugeot 206 had been vandalised by a corrosive substance within 24 hours of the nearby attack on Mr Stapley's car.
And in January, Malcolm Plant of Northallerton Shooting and Countrywear, on The Fairway – less than a quarter of a mile away from Mr Stapley's home – was also victim to a similar attack.
He had thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to his brand new Mercedes and company Land Rover Discovery when a paint-stripping substance was poured on them while they were parked outside his shop.
Police say they are currently investigating the incidents to see if they are linked.
Sgt Simon Wilson, of Northallerton Police, said: "These cars seem to have been targeted specifically in this unusual attack, but there is no evidence to suggest why they were attacked.
"Our investigations are ongoing and we are currently looking into a possible motive."
Anyone with information is asked to call Northallerton Police on 0845 6060 247 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.