A Texas plumber is suing a dealership called AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway because he alleges they sold his old truck to Islamic jihadists in Syria. The problem is that the Mark-1 Plumbing logo is still prominently shown right next to the jihadist flag on videos and photos, so Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer says he has been harassed for about a year and his business is now destroyed.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, it turns out that Toyota Hiluxes and Land Cruises seem to be the truck of choice for ISIS. In fact, so many ISIS trucks are made by Toyota that the U.S. Treasury counter-terrorism unit asked the auto company to help figure how the Islamic State is getting their hands on so many of these particular vehicles.
“We believe that sales are being diverted from these dealerships in order to support ISIS,” explained Mark Wallace, who formerly worked as a U.S. diplomat. “I think it’s a concern to the United States government and our allies.”
Almost exactly a year ago, Mark-1 Plumbing owner Mark Oberholtzer found out the hard way how this could happen. He had traded in his Ford 5-250 pickup truck several years ago, but suddenly he started receiving phone calls accusing him of supporting Syrian terrorists.
“A few of the people are really ugly,” he said at the time. “We have a secretary here, she’s scared to death. We all have families. We don’t want no problems.”
It turns out his Ford truck had been sold to a jihadist group called the Jabhat Ansar al-Din coalition. Similar to ISIS, the Syrian jihadist group is focused on imposing Islamic Sharia law on areas not already claimed by the Islamic State, and they have been using the Texas plumber’s truck as a mobile artillery platform. The main issue is that the driver’s door still has the Mark-1 Plumbing logo and phone number clearly visible.
Reports from last year noted that the Mark-1 Plumbing owner sold his truck to AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway, but an AutoNation spokesperson said the company had no idea how the Ford truck ended up in the hands of Syrian jihadists.
“AutoNation took the truck in a trade-in, we immediately sent it to an auction house, the auction house then took the title and sold it to a local used car dealer. AutoNation was nothing but the pass-through for this vehicle,” explained the spokesperson last year.
Oberholtzer believes employees at AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway are directly responsible for his current situation. The lawsuit alleges that Oberholtzer “began peeling off” the Mark-1 Plumbing decal on the Ford truck’s door when an AutoNation salesman, Edgar Veleasquez, told him to stop. The salesman said “not to worry about the decal, and that peeling the decal off would blemish the vehicle paint.” The AutoNation employee allegedly advised to “let them handle it,” and it was “further stated that the dealership had something that works better for removal and they would use it to remove the decal.”
The lawsuit also notes that the Mark-1 Plumbing owner has sold multiple trucks to different dealerships in Texas. Although it was “common practice for dealerships to remove the decals on vehicles prior to reselling them,” the plumber’s suit notes that “none of those occasions” have resulted in his trucks being transferred to Syrian jihadists.
If the Texas plumber sues and wins, Oberholtzer is hoping to recoup $1 million. Due to the “magnitude and growing hostility of the situation,” Mark-1 Plumbing allegedly lost revenues and the company’s reputation suffered. The lawsuit claims that AutoNation employees treated him badly by hanging up on the phone and made “no effort whatever” to “mitigate or resolve his threatening situation.” In addition, it’s claimed that AutoNation declared that they “never touched the truck” before it was sold at auction, and it’s claimed AutoNation “stated that it was not their responsibility to remove the decal prior to sending it” away.
[Image via Twitter]