TEXAS CITY, TX (KHOU/CNN) — The phones are ringing off the hook at Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City, for a reason no one there could have ever imagined.
“People think you are aiding and abetting terrorists?” KHOU reporter Alice Barr asked Jeff Oberholtzer, son of Mark-1’s owner. Jeff answered, “Right, right.”
It’s all because of a photo posted on an Islamic militant group’s Twitter feed. It shows one of Mark-1 Plumbing’s old work trucks, with the logo on the side, turned into an anti-aircraft firing weapon on the front lines of Syria’s civil war.
“We had no intentions or no idea that this would even happen,” said Oberholtzer.
He traded the truck in himself in November of last year at the AutoNation Ford dealership on the Gulf Freeway in Houston.
A spokesman there told KHOU that the truck immediately went to auction, and likely traded owners over and over, before apparently winding up in the hands of Islamic terrorists a world away.
“To think something we would use to pull trailers, now is being used for terror, it’s crazy. Never in my lifetime would think something like that,” said Oberholtzer.
But the small town business is now dealing with the fallout of angry, even threatening, phone calls from all over the country.
“We have a secretary here, she’s scared to death. We all have families. We don’t want no problems,” said Oberholtzer.
They’re hoping the mess won’t hurt their business and they’re still offering service with a smile and a promise: “We have nothing to do with terror at all,” said Oberholtzer, a line the mom and pop shop never expected to make part of its motto.
It’s nearly impossible to trace exactly how the truck wound up where it did, but Jeff says he does recognize it and from now on they’ll be sure to remove any stickers and logos with their company name before trading in any other work cars.