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VICTIMS fear a racial motive is behind a recent spate of vandalism attacks on cars parked at Macquarie Centre and Macquarie University.
Around 40 people have claimed to have had their cars vandalised with a form of acid or paint stripper while parked in the university and shopping centre carparks over the last four months.
The incidents first came to light in March through posts on the Chinese-language online forum oursteps.com.au.
This led more victims to come forward with information on further incidents before a victims’ group was established on the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat.
One of these victims was Dr Jing Fang, a lecturer at Macquarie, who had her car damaged in the university carpark while she was working.
“At first glance it just looked like bird poo,” Dr Fang said. “But on a closer look, someone had sprayed chemicals on my car. The mechanic said it was some sort of paint stripper.
“I had to have the whole bonnet repainted.”
Dr Fang says that the shared ethnicity of the victims could indicate that the vandalism is racially targeted.
“All of the victims are from a Chinese-speaking background and some of the cars had Chinese accessories on them,” she said.
“I’m not sure that it’s targeting but I hope more people come forward so we can find out if it’s random or a racial thing.”
Both Macquarie Centre and Macquarie University have said that they are aware of the incidents and have reported them to police.
“Macquarie University can confirm that a number of cars parked in the University’s W4 carpark were vandalised earlier this year,” said a university spokesman.
“The security team regularly patrols all areas of the campus including the carparks. Once advised of the vandalism these patrols were further increased.
“The university has a very low rate of crime and takes all incidences of this nature very seriously.”
Ryde police declined to comment.
If you have been a victim of a similar incident, contact firstname.lastname@example.org