When vandals repeatedly daubed obscene graffiti on the wall of their family business, Sharlene and Bob Bain assumed a tearaway teen was responsible.
After their Dalkeith locksmiths was targeted for the 10th time this year, the fed-up couple forked out hundreds of pounds on CCTV cameras. And much to their shock, footage of a raid earlier this month shows two middle-aged men with thinning hair, rather than young yobs, spraying a giant phallus on the side of Apache Services in the early hours.
“They’re two older men, I really didn’t expect that,” said mother of three Sharlene (45).
“And two, not one. More than anything I want to know why?”
The business has been hit 11 times since Easter – initially having cables ripped from the wall before the vandals switched to spraying paint.
“We’ve just had it up to here, we’re only a small business so we don’t have a lot of spare cash,” added Sharlene.
“They’re spraying willies every time. I just don’t understand it. It’s on the stonework and it’s a listed sandstone building so we’d need to get it professionally cleaned.
“One of the times they sprayed a willy in white on the door and windows with black railings on, Then they came back and did the same but in black, so effectively turning it back to its original colour – it just makes no sense at all.
“It’d be a massive expense so we’re waiting until they get those responsible – then they can pay for it.”
Sharlene and Bob have now shared the video on their firm’s Facebook page in a bid to help snare the pair.
“We’ve had some funny comments,” said Sharlene.
“Things like is this the Dalkeith Banksy?”The couple took on the family business from Sharlene’s parents 11 years ago and are at a loss as to why anyone would target them.
“I’ve been asking myself if we have any enemies,” said Sharlene.
“Maybe someone had a key cut that doesn’t work. I can’t think it’s another business, we’ve got no real rivals.
“I’ve watched it and watched it and all our friends have watched it but nobody recognises them. The police sergeant said it could be a case of mistaken identity.”
The attacks have placed added strain on the family after Bob was diagnosed with lung cancer. “Three years ago he was given a few weeks to live but he’s getting a new immunotherapy treatment that only three people in Edinburgh have,” said Sharlene.
“Bob is the first to come in and open up and he has panic attacks when he sees that – he doesn’t need it,” she added.
The couple have been inundated with messages of support and offers to help by their kind-hearted community.
Sharlene added: “So many people have been amazing. They come in and offer to clean it off.”
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed the latest incident has been reported and officers are investigating.
“Officers were called to a business premises on Tait Street in Dalkeith around 8.40am on Thursday, December 12 following reports of offensive graffiti on the building,” added the spokesman.
“Inquiries into the incident are continuing.”