A MYSTERY saboteur is being blamed for a sudden spate of disability buggy punctures.

The number of people reporting blow-outs has rocketed and most of the incidents seem to be caused by the same thing - roofing tacks.

Reports of damaged tyres have been made across Clacton.

One victim was retired social worker Penny Bunby, 68, who said she suffered three punctures in less than a week.

Penny, of Glebe Way, Jaywick, said: “I was going to the dog parlour in St Osyth Road with my dog to get his hair cut.

“I suddenly became aware something wasn’t right and my buggy was pulling to the left so I stopped.

“I’ve had my scooter for thee years and I’ve never had a puncture before but this is the third one in a week.”

She knows of other people who have suffered the same problem with their scooters.

All the punctures have been caused by roofing tacks.

Penny, who had to pay to get her buggy’s tyres repaired, said: “I’m aware of about half a dozen.”

Self-employed buggy repair man Roger Ball said he was astonished by the sudden surge.

He said: “To get one puncture is bad luck, but to get three in less than a week is unbelievable.

“Over the last eight or nine weeks I’ve done at least eight or nine repairs.

“The strange thing is they have all been the same thing - new half-inch roofing tacks.

“They stick out like a sore thumb.

“One woman in James Road only got her £3,500 scooter two days ago and she got a puncture today. I went out to her and it was exactly the same thing.

“I phoned up a mobility shop in Pier Avenue in Clacton and asked if they had repaired many punctures and they said quite a few.

“He said there had been four or five involving roofing tacks.”

Mr Ball added: “To have so many in a week is too much of a coincidence. It’s almost like someone is planting them.”

Penny also fears buggy owners in the area are being targeted deliberately.

“I think someone is just wandering around throwing handfuls of roof tacks down,” she said.

“If it was just building work going on somewhere it wouldn’t affect all these different people in different areas.

“It’s just nasty and malicious.”