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Glengolly glue vandal comes unstuck on camera

By David G Scott

THE owner of a taxi firm based near Thurso has talked about her fears after several of her cars were vandalised in an early morning attack caught on video.

A CCTV camera that Laurien Irvine had recently installed outside her Glengolly home captured the moment a shadowy figure appeared to smear the cars with glue in the early hours of December 19.

"The first I knew about it was my partner telling me in the morning that someone had been at my cars," said Laurien, who runs Pentland Cabs.

A still taken from the CCTV footage showing the man apparently smearing glue on the cars.
A still taken from the CCTV footage showing the man apparently smearing glue on the cars.

Initially she thought someone might have thrown acid onto the three taxi cabs sitting outside her cottage and felt a bit relieved that it was "only glue".

"If you start the car up the glue is harder to get off as the engine will warm it up and it gets harder," she said.

"The Seat Toledo was the one that was damaged the most, with bonnet paint peeling and paint peeling off of the bumper too."

The other two cars – a Skoda Octavia and a Jaguar – had minimal damage due to the fact they had not been started up, Laurien thought.

She said she would probably repaint the cars herself.

Police confirmed there was a report of vandalism to three vehicles parked in the Glengolly area near Thurso.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "The incident happened shortly after 1am on Thursday, December 19.

"Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting incident 0668 of 19 December."

Laurien gave a copy of the CCTV footage to the police and even suggested a possible name for the vandal.

In an attempt to speed up the judicial process and see the perpetrator apprehended, she went a step further and released the footage on social media where it was viewed more than 2000 times on Facebook in just a few days.

Some Facebook users thought they recognised the man in the video who was dubbed "The Glueman" by a few of those commenting.

Above the video, Laurien added her own thoughts. "As people know, the man on the CCTV below came on to my driveway in the early hours of Thursday morning and tried to wreck my cars.

"I initially took it down [the video] but I think the community of Caithness need to know what kind of animals walk our streets... I have been told the resemblance is so alike a man who has previously done this to another person."

She asks anyone recognising the person to call the police on 101.

In the 25-second video, a slim, casually dressed man with hair cropped short can be seen hurriedly applying a substance to all three cars from what appears to be a plastic bottle. Though he is wearing a hooded top, the hood is down.

"I think it's possibly someone trying to put our taxi firm out of business as two weeks before my dad's car was set upon as well," Laurien said.

No arrests had been made at the time of going to press.

Her father, Thomas Irvine, who also runs taxis, lives close by and the recent incident Laurien was referring to happened in Halkirk when her father let a driver take his cab home at the end of a shift.

"He [the driver] called me to come over in the morning and help him change the tyres," Thomas said.

"They'd been done in with a screwdriver, by the look of it, and the car bonnet was scratched too." He thinks that his vehicle was specifically targeted and the incident was not just a random act of vandalism.

Laurien decided to install CCTV cameras around her property not long after the attack on her father's car and the glue incident was one of the first nights the system was fully operational.

Father and daughter both believe the recent spate of vandalism are not isolated events but are part of a wider campaign of intimidation against them.

"We've had a few things like this happen now and we're really sick of it," Laurien said.

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