Thugs trashed 19 cars during an overnight wrecking spree.
The yobs broke side windows in all the vehicles during the night time rampage in South Elmsall and South Kirkby.
And they let off the handbrakes in some cars, causing them to crash into lampposts.
Inspector Geoff Carter of the South East Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) said it was the worst night of criminal damage he had experienced in his four years in charge of policing in the area.
He said: “This was the most damage we have had reported in any one instance whilst I have been the neighbourhood inspector covering the South East.
“We are taking the attacks extremely seriously and further investigations have commenced. We are asking the local community to feed any information through to us so that we can work together to try and apprehend and prosecute the offenders.”
He said officers had stepped up patrols in the town after the attacks, which took place between 10.30pm on Sunday night and 8am on Monday morning.
Insp Carter said: “It is very unusual to have that number of crimes anywhere in the Wakefield district in one night. “It is out of the ordinary and not at all what we would expect in these areas. It has affected so many members of the community and it does so both financially as well as in terms of time and inconvenience.”
Dozens of readers expressed concern about the rampage on social media, with some claiming they had been targeted.
Jayne Shelton-Hall said her 75-year-old father’s car was one of those damaged at around 4am on Monday.
She said: “The car had its windows smashed on the drivers side. We assume it was then set alight and left. A neighbour said she saw the car on fire rolling from my dad’s driveway at which point she called for the fire brigade.”
Andrew Wilson wrote on Facebook: “What a joke these people have no respect.” Bonny Farrar added: “How many thousands worth of damage? Will something be done to prevent it happening again?”
Sergeant Sarah Degnan of the South East NPT said: “We have increased patrols in the area and will be investigating possible links between them to maximise our chances of finding those responsible.
“These offences are very unusual for this area and officers fully appreciate the distress and anger these attacks have caused in South Kirkby and South Elmsall. We will be conducting a number of enquiries including checking sources of CCTV.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.