VANDALS went on the rampage at a builders and plumbers merchant hours before it was due to celebrate its open day.
They climbed a high fence to gain access to John Nicholls in Cottage Leap and targeted lorries, vans and stock, causing £10,000 worth of damage.
Manager Noel Monahan said he became concerned when he arrived at the premises at 5.30am on Thursday, May 31, to find the padlock to the gate had been glued shut.
“I thought ‘somebody doesn’t want us to get in here today’,” he said.
“Then I went to the entrance door and that had also been glued or shut with resin.”
Mr Monahan was then met with a trail of destruction in the yard.
Tyres had been slashed tyres, hoses cut and bulk bags carrying materials cut open.
“Six tyres on two of our lorries had been slashed,” added Mr Monahan.
“They cost £400 each. The electrics had also been cut on our cranes.”
The damage took place hours before special guests including Rugby Mayor Kathryn Lawrence were due to attend their open day.
He added: “I went through a range of emotions.
“First I felt sick, then upset and then angry because of all the work that had been put in.”
But he decided the show would go on and the open day was a great success.
“I just plastered on a smile and got on with it,” said Mr Manahan.
“We had a fantastic day and so did all our visitors.”
He added: “We won’t be beaten by this.”
Those responsible were captured on CCTV but police said because they wore masks they would be difficult to trace.
John Nicholls employs ten people in the town. They are part of a successful independent company, based in Banbury.