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Wanted East Lancashire man fled to roof for 3-hour siege
Updated 10:31am Monday 10th March 2014 in News
A MAN ripped tiles from roofs during a late-night siege and used them to smash car windscreens below.
The suspect spent around three hours on the roofs of terraced properties in Empress Street, Albert Place and Fore Street, all in Lower Darwen.
Police said six cars and caravans were damaged between 11.30pm on Friday and 2.30am on Saturday.
Residents told of their anger and ‘devastation’ after having their vehicles damaged.
Lee Riley, of Empress Street, said his silver Renault Mégane was likely to be written off after the front windscreen was shattered.
Dad-of-two Mr Riley, 45, said: “At first we could hear all the noise of people and dogs running down the back alley.
“We didn’t go outside at first. When we went out to look at the damage, the police said to get back inside because it wasn’t safe.
“I’m devastated. I’ve been quoted £440 to fix the roof slates. With the car, I’m waiting for the insurance company to get back to me, but it’s more than likely they’ll write it off.
“I’m not best pleased. I had about two hours sleep. It used to be a quiet street but it’s getting a bit more like Beirut.”
Shelley Thomas, 36, also of Empress Street, saw the back windscreen of her red Peugeot damaged.
She said: “It’s going to cost me a lot, more than I can afford.”
The man was wanted by police in connection with an incident earlier in the evening, before taking to the roof, officers said.
Duty Inspector Simon Lynch, of Lancashire police, said: “The man was wanted for an assault earlier that evening and was talked down by specially trained officers from our support unit.
“They cordoned off what they could and got into a conversation with him which eventually led to him coming down.”
A fire crew attended the scene on Saturday morning to remove loose roof tiles and bricks that posed a danger to passers-by.
The street was cordoned off again from around 10.30am on Saturday as they used a cherry-picker to remove the debris.
Police said a 21-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. He remained in police custody for questioning.
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