Harpenden woman shaken after ball bearing attack
PUBLISHED: 06:22 22 August 2013
A WOMAN left badly shaken after two metal ball bearings were fired at her house has said she was lucky not to have been killed.
Herts police are investigating after her house, on Coldharbour Lane in Harpenden, and disused garages behind Beeching Close were targeted in the attack between 12.30pm and 2pm last Friday, August 16.
The resident, who did not want to be named in fear of further attacks, said a double-glazed patio window was smashed by the ammunition, believed to have been fired with a catapult.
She explained: “I heard a very loud bang at the back of my house. There was a definite cracking noise.”
The woman was stunned to discover two large metal ball bearings, about the size of a thumbnail, both of which had hit the back of her home.
She said: “They were fired from about two metres away, from the Hyde Close cycle path area into my garden. If I’d been standing in the line of fire of either, I would probably have been killed outright.”
While the woman was lucky to escape injury, it will cost £300 to fix her patio window.
She said: “I cannot believe any sane individual would fire off these in a built-up area.
“There are small children in several of the adjacent houses who could have been out playing in their back gardens.
“I was lucky to survive with no more than shock. The next ‘victim’ of this reckless and anti-social behaviour might not be so lucky.”
The woman said neighbouring residents had told her they had seen children using a catapult to fire ball bearings at the garages in Beeching Close.
She added: “Other residents are worried about their personal safety, because ball bearings are dangerous. How can people let their children use these things?”
A source who examined photos of the ammunition and damaged glass told the Herts Advertiser that the ball bearings could not have been propelled from any kind of BB gun or air rifle, as they are simply too big to fit inside such weapons. He said they looked like sling shot ball bearings, and he hoped whoever was responsible for firing them was caught as the images looked “horrendous”.
Herts police have launched an appeal for further information, but said it appeared to be a one-off episode.
Sergeant Ann-Marie Owen, of the Harpenden and Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is a shocking incident and one which we are thoroughly investigating to find the people responsible so it doesn’t happen again.
“We are not aware of any further incidents of this nature, however I would ask anyone with information about this to contact police.
“Did you witness what happened? Do you know who may be responsible? Did you see anyone in the area carrying ball bearings at the time this incident took place? Please call me via the non-emergency number, 101.”
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