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Trucking, gravel businesses vandalized



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Jeff Acton, owner of the Oxford-based Acton Trucking, is offering a $500 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of whoever vandalized his trucks between 6 p.m. Friday, July 22 and 8 a.m. Saturday, July 23. Photos by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
July 27, 2011 - A local business owner is offering a $500 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of whoever's responsible for maliciously vandalizing his trucks.

"This was just straight-up breaking stuff for kicks," said Jeff Acton, owner of the Oxford-based Acton Trucking.

Sometime between 6 p.m. Friday, July 22 and 8 a.m. Saturday, July 23, Acton's trucks were vandalized while parked on the Koenig Sand & Gravel site, near the property's east entrance off Lakeville Rd.

Acton's two dump trucks received the most damage. Both windshields were smashed as were three of the four windows on the driver and passenger sides. The wooden sideboard from one truck was ripped off and shoved through the broken side windows of the other truck. One truck's exterior mirrors were destroyed.

"They also busted every headlight, every tail light," Acton noted. "They stomped on the hood on this one."

All of the windows on Acton's box-truck, which he uses for storage, were broken as were all the lights on his tractor.

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Busted windows and headlights comprised the bulk of the damage. (click for larger version)
"It just bums me out that in my own hometown I get vandalized like this," he said. "It's just sad."

Acton is a lifelong resident of Oxford and a 1982 OHS graduate. He started his business here 23 years ago at the age of 24. He leases space from Koenig to store his trucks and equipment along with the mulches, top soil, beach sand and compost he sells.

This wasn't the first time his property's been damaged on the Koenig site. Last July, someone tried to steal the catalytic converter from one of his trucks.

"They tore my muffler system off and they siphoned all the gas out of it," Acton said. "I've been here four years. The first two years, not a thing. Last year, I had that and this year is the worst of all."

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Last week's vandalism caused an estimated $6,000 in damage, which fortunately will be covered by Acton's insurance. He will have to pay a $500 deductible on one truck.

However, what won't be covered is Acton's loss of income while his one-man operation is closed for repairs.

"This is my livelihood. I'm down for at least a week," he said. "This business is only like a five-month season anymore because of the economy."

Acton estimated he'll lose "anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000" in business because of this senseless crime.

Financial losses aside, Acton's quite upset about not being able to serve his customers in the timely manner on which he's always prided himself.

"It's killing me not being able to take care of my customers," he said.

But Acton wasn't the only victim.

Koenig's office facility was also severely damaged. All of the building's windows, approximately 12, were smashed and a fire extinguisher was discharged all over the interior.

"It's really a mess," said Peter Fredericks, who manages the Koenig operation. "There's glass everywhere and busted screens . . . The damages were extensive."

Although the police report indicated the damage to be an estimated $20,000, Fredericks said a dollar amount has "yet to be determined."

Whether or not anything was stolen is unknown.

"We're still taking inventory just to be sure," Fredericks said. "At this point in time, it's a little to early to say."

Fredericks indicated the Koenig property has experienced vandalism in the past, but "on a very, very minor basis."

"On occasion, we'd get a busted window. Really this is somewhat of an exception," he said. "It's just a shame that we try so hard to run an honest business and then people come and destroy things for no reason."

Fredericks noted Koenig is going to examine its "options for security in the future."

"If we do catch anyone doing this, they will be prosecuted.," he said.

Anyone with information about these acts of vandalism is asked to please call either the Oakland County Sheriff's non-emergency number (248) 858-4950 or the sheriff's Oxford substation at (248) 969-3077.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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