Residents in Derry were left shocked after youths went on a wrecking spree on a stolen dumper truck, SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney has said.
Two youths took the heavy duty vehicle and knocked over lampposts and other street furniture before bringing it to a halt to the rear of homes in Fergleen Park in the Galliagh estate.
It is understood joyriders then re-started the vehicle and began driving it through the estate again before finally abandoned at the ‘frying pan’ in the Ederowen Park area.
Colr. Tierney said that those responsible for stealing the dumper truck could have caused chaos during their rampage through Galliagh.
He said: “Last night I was contacted by Galliagh residents who were shocked and deeply concerned as a dump truck was stolen and taken for a joyride through the area.
“Those responsible recklessly put people and property in danger for a thrill.
“These trucks require specialist training to drive safely, anyone could have been seriously hurt last night.
“I was on the scene, liaising with police and residents late last night.”
Colr. Tierney added: “I would appeal to young people in the area to think about the consequences of their actions.
“Entering a building site without safety equipment at night, stealing a piece of heavy machinery, driving recklessly through a built up residential area – any one of these could have resulted in serious harm.”
Police said the truck was stolen in the Skeoge Road area of the city last night.
PSNI Inspector Ray Wilson said: “At approximately 8.25pm it was reported that two male youths were seen driving a dumper truck in the vicinity of the Skeoge Road.
“The two males were seen driving the vehicle through local housing estates, including Ederowen Park, Glendale Park and Rossnagalliagh and damage had been caused to lampposts and other street furniture.
“The truck, believed to have been stolen from a nearby building site, was later recovered.
“We are appealing to anyone who can help us identify the males driving the vehicle, or who was in the area at the time and witnessed the vehicle being driven. This was reckless behaviour, which could have had serious consequences.”
Inspector Wilson has appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
He said: “Anyone who knows anything about this incident is urged to contact police at Strand Road on the non-emergency 101, quoting reference 1227 of 05/09/17. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”