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Wretched French vandals!!!

(23 Posts)
Witzend Sat 17-Aug-19 09:33:23

Poor dd and SiL - left last night with a packed car and roofbox and 2 very little dcs, for a S/C holiday in France.

After a late Shuttle they stayed the night at an AirB&B in Calais, so as to start the 5 hour drive nice and early.

Woke up to find car window on driver's side smashed. Nothing stolen, sheer vandalism. So a long delay now while SiL tries to find somewhere to get it fixed.

Bellanonna Sat 17-Aug-19 09:41:57

Oh Witzend, what an absolute nightmare for them, poor things. Horrible start to their holiday. I hope they can get the repair sorted as quickly as possible and go on to enjoy a lovely holiday.
I wonder if it was just an act of random vandalism, or someone showing anti Brexit feelings? Whichever, despite the bad start, I hope they go on to enjoy themselves in whatever part do France they will be staying in, and can relax and put this nasty experience behind them.

Witzend Sat 17-Aug-19 10:13:49

Thank goodness, I just heard they've had a temporary fix - will get it done properly at a garage they've used before - staying at a BiL's place where we've all been several times.

I don't know whether it'd be Brexit related - in Calais I do wonder about resentment because of so many migrants hoping to get to the UK - they've long been a problem in Calais.
We haven't used the ferry for quite a while - use Shuttle instead - but used to see so many hanging around roadsides close to the ferry port. Would feel so sorry for them, but at the same time can see how Calais residents would just wish we'd let them all in and get the problem off their doorstep!

paddyann Sat 17-Aug-19 10:18:11

wont be France's problem soon,they dont have to keep them once Brexit happens .They'll be able to come as they wish ,France can only be responsible for its own border not the UK's.

EllanVannin Sat 17-Aug-19 10:27:13

Nowhere is safe any more sad

Still, I'm glad that the family were able to continue their journey.

eazybee Sat 17-Aug-19 11:06:52

Sorry to hear this happened to your family.
This happened to the car of a friend in which we were travelling, right outside the hotel in Calais where we were staying, and we heard and saw them do it. This was in 1994, fiftieth anniversary of D Day, so don't blame it on Brexit.

silverlining48 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:20:48

Happened to us in Italy years ago when we parked by a river fir a paddle with the children. Came back and window was smashed, glass everywhere. There was something going on at the time between uk and europe because I remember wondering if that was the reason as it was only our car that was damaged and the rest were Italian and left untouched.
It was a real palaver getting it sorted out.

BlueBelle Sun 18-Aug-19 06:27:24

My friend visited NZ recently only to have their car broken into lost quite a bit of stuff to
Unfortunately it happens everywhere and always has
I remember my very first holiday with friends 1962 we went to Jersey long before travellers cheques and bank cards
I left half my money in my suitcase in my room so I wouldn’t lose it (sounds naive now but wasn’t for those days)..,.. It went never to be seen again

PECS Sun 18-Aug-19 08:25:25

Really just wretched vandals! I had my car broken into on my driveway in leafy Surrey! The culprits were apparently white British youth from Portsmouth!confused

harrigran Sun 18-Aug-19 08:58:58

Car break ins have always ocurred in France, UK cars have been a target as long as I can remember. Overnighters would leave luggage in the car and valuables would be stolen.
In northern France UK cars are a magnet for those trying to reach the UK, we never park within two hours of Calais and have noticed that rest areas and toilets have been closed.

Fennel Sun 18-Aug-19 09:50:21

I've just been reading about another scam which is becoming common in France. Especially involving tourists.
The link's in french, I think this is what it means:
When a car stops for petrol, or pulls in to a picnic spot, a young family, neatly dressed, approaches and spins a hard luck story of being robbed, asking for a loan. Giving an address , saying they'll pay back. Which never happens.
For some reason it's called the Irish Sting! sorry.,8363636.php

jura2 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:54:54

ouch, what a shame. But this is nothing new, I'm afraid.

We only stay at a Hôtel in Calais where the CRS (SAS type police) have accommodation there, and a dedicated car park, for that very reason. Bonne chance.

jura2 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:56:25

Whatever you do, do NOT go to France with stickers on your car agains the EU or for Brexit. It will be more likely the British Expats there, who are really suffering because of Brexit in so many ways- who will get angry sad

Witzend Sun 18-Aug-19 10:13:03

Thanks for info. Shall tell dd to stay the night in Folkestone in future, or at the kind of hotel Jura2 mentioned.

Luckily, as dd said, there was nothing any self-respecting thief would want to nick - just (non-designer!) clothes and Gdcs' rather battered scooters, etc.

Fennel, we've had similar scams tried on us in SW London. Apparently distraught woman asking for petrol money etc. I think dh did give that one a fiver, reasoning that if you were desperate enough to do that in the first place...
He wouldn't normally be so soft, though.

EllanVannin Sun 18-Aug-19 10:27:01

I'm afraid we won't be welcome anywhere soon !!

Witzend Sun 18-Aug-19 10:32:24

Jura2, who on earth would be daft enough to do that?

But even if they did, I would have nothing but contempt for anyone, Brit or otherwise, who'd deliberately smash car windows.

Witzend Sun 18-Aug-19 10:37:24

Well, we've always been made welcome in the particular corner of Burgundy where a BiL has a big place we are lucky to be able to use.
All the very nice locals we've ever met are well aware that not all Brits voted for Brexit, far from it.

Welshwife Sun 18-Aug-19 10:41:30

After the referendum we were parked in a Tesco car park in Wales with a British car about 6 months old but with a French number plate - we came out to find a long key scratch from front to back of the car. The police classed it as a ‘hate crime’. Unfortunately the CCTV had not covered that particular part of the car park.
If you book a hotel in France via one of the booking sites there are many hotels which have secure parking where the gates are locked overnight.

crystaltipps Sun 18-Aug-19 11:31:57

When driving through France we always stay overnight at hotels with secure parking or a chambres d’hôte in the countryside where you can park outside in the grounds. Plenty of break-ins to cars in our part of the world in the U.K. btw., especially workmen’s vans who are targeted for their tools, this is in broad daylight on suburban streets when the workmen are inside.

Callistemon Sun 18-Aug-19 12:16:26

I don't think I would stop in Calais at all, it's worth travelling on further. However, these nasty things do happen everywhere. Friends had their dog stolen from their car in Bristol sad.

Urmstongran Sun 18-Aug-19 12:34:25

Not quite sure of the connection of angry pensioners bashing in car windows here.

Others who live in Europe will surely be earning in euros?

Callistemon Sun 18-Aug-19 14:49:27

I'm sorry about your car, Welshwife.
However, DH also had his car 'keyed' it was quite deep , probably in Wales, may have been in Tesco's car park, may not. British number plates, not a new or very posh car.
Just a random act of vandalism.

Someone hit mine in Waitrose car park but left without leaving a note. Another customer saw them do it but didn't get a number.

Waitrose customers are no classier.

Callistemon Sun 18-Aug-19 14:50:23

I should add that the car was 'new' to DH so he was cross.