PICTURES: Police confirm investigation after 'demolition derby' wrecking spree at Sheffield lorry yard

Police have confirmed they are investigating reports that drunken yobs smashed lorries together in a 'demolition derby' wrecking spree at a haulage yard.

Monday, 16th April 2018, 18:54 pm
Updated Monday, 16th April 2018, 19:06 pm
The remains of the yard.

Vandals smashed their way into the R Cox Haulage Ltd yard in Darnall before stealing keys and driving vehicles into one another, buildings and a gate leaving the place a scene of carnage.

Arsonists truck at the site.

It is also thought the yobs drank beer while carrying out the attack as empty cans were left strewn across the yard.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed today they are investigating the incident.

A spokesperson said: "An investigation is underway into an arson attack at R Cox Haulage Ltd. At around 12.10am on Friday, April 13, officers received reports of a fire at the above location.

"On arrival, officers found that extensive damage had been caused to Portacabins on site as well as several vehicles and gates. A number of items were also stolen during the incident.

A lorry against a fence.

"The fire is being treated as deliberate and officers have launched an investigation – including reviewing CCTV."

The transport company has been operating in Sheffield for almost a century but there are now fears that the firm may have to close resulting in job losses.

Company owner Robert Rounce was on a family holiday in Tenerife when he received a call late at night to say that his business was on fire.

He said: "We had just gotten in from a night out when I got the call. I couldn't believe it.

The remains of the yard.

"The people responsible for this sheer act of nastiness are cruel excuses for human beings.

"We are all truly gutted."

He said it appeared yobs had "proceeded to play what can only be described as demolition derby using lorries, pick ups and vans" and described the state of the yard as "carnage."

Arsonists truck at the site.

It is believed they broke into the site through a fence at about 8pm at around the time when CCTV suddenly stopped working.

They broke into the firm's main office and stole keys to the vehicles.

It appears they then drove a lorry, van and a pick-up truck into other vehicles, a garage and a main gate.

They set fire to the main office and a nearby caravan from which it is believed cans of beer had also been taken.

Important documents, such as invoices dating back to the start of the year, were also lost in the fire.

In total there were four HGVs damaged, two vans and a pick-up truck.

A lorry against a fence.

Mr Rounce said he could not put a specific figure on the total cost of the damage but believes it runs into "tens of thousands of pounds."

The 50-year-old Worksop man, who started working for the firm as a mechanic in 1984, said the company and its workforce of seven now faces an uncertain future.

The firm is still operational but he admitted its future is 'in danger'.

He said: "We are speaking to the insurance company and will see what happens.

"But we will do everything we can to keep going."

The company posted pictures and details of the attack on Facebook which has been shared more than 500 times.

Mr Rounce added that CCTV from a neighbouring business caught two men walking away from the scene while drinking from what is thought to be beer cans at around the time of the incident.

He said they were both aged about 20 and wore hooded tops and baseball caps.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting incident 5 of April 13 2018.

The remains of the yard.