20-ton coach 'used as battering ram' to smash into Dudley firm's building

Vandals broke into a 20-ton coach and 'used it as a battering ram' against a nearby building.

John Molnar from JC Coaches pictured with the damaged coach
John Molnar from JC Coaches pictured with the damaged coach

It is believed louts forced their way through the rear door of the Mercedes Tourismo at JC Coaches Ltd in Netherton and let the handbrake off.

The 50-seater vehicle, which was parked outside the premises on Primrose Hill Trading Estate, then rolled into an opposite unit called KJ Fasteners.

The callous incident has caused at least £20,000 damage to the huge coach, where the front end was left battered, while an outbuilding at KJ Fasteners was left with a gaping hole.

Unit 21, called KF Fasteners, was left damaged in the incident

John Molnar, managing director at the coach firm, labelled the culprits "scumbags".

The incident happened sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. West Midlands Police has been contacted for comment.

Mr Molnar told the Express & Star: "All I know is I got to my yard at about 7am on Tuesday morning. The owner of the unit where it had been rammed into, he came into my office.

"He said we have got a problem. The coach was embedded in his unit. That is all we know about it."

The coach keys were locked away in a secure place meaning the burglars were unable to start the engine. The coach was one of two parked outside the business where the other one was also broken into, said Mr Molnar. There were also two minibuses parked outside but these were left untouched.

It is unclear why the culprits broke into the coach and whether they tried to steal it or use it as a "battering ram" to break into the other business, said Mr Molnar.

Unit 21, called KF Fasteners, was left damaged in the incident

"The coach was broken into and used as a battering ram," he continued. "They took the handbrake off and let it roll into the unit.

"They got into the back door somehow. The back door was open.

"I don't know whether they intended to rob the place or nick the coach which has gone wrong."

The windscreen of the coach was left cracked while the left wing mirror was left missing and right one was smashed up. The front bumper was also left crumpled with a large piece missing.

John Molnar from JC Coaches pictured with the damaged coach

Mr Molnar said he does not yet know how many people were involved in the incident as he is still waiting to see CCTV footage from Whittles Jones, which manages the trading estate.

The financial impact has been even more detrimental to the business which is already trying to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the outbreak began, some of the firm's work has dried up due to the social-distancing guidlines and lockdown rules. JC Coaches Ltd operates coaches and minibuses for schools and other organisations holiday-makers alike.

But Mr Molnar said: "We haven't done holidays for the past 12 months. We had to cancel day trips.

"It is hard enough already with Covid. We are getting no help from the Government."

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "We're investigating after a coach and wall were damaged at Primrose Industrial Estate, Cradley Road, Netherton, overnight on 16 November.

"We're reviewing CCTV and anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat, or by calling 101, and quote 20DY/282936C/20."

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org

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