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TEXAS CITY — A local plumber is being flooded with phone calls — and some threats — after a picture of one of his old company vehicles being used by Islamist militants in Syria was posted on Twitter.
The picture was posted online by the Islamic extremist brigade Ansar al-Deen Front, according to a CBS News report. It shows a black pick-up truck with a Mark-1 Plumbing decal on the door and an anti-aircraft gun in the bed.
Mark Oberholtzer, who has owned and operated Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City for the past 32 years, confirmed it was his pickup truck in the picture. He said he no longer owned the vehicle and had no idea how it ended up in Syria.
Oberholtzer said he traded in the truck to an AutoNation dealership three years ago. He usually takes the decals off his vehicles when he sells them but he left it on this truck with the expectation that AutoNation would remove it.
“They were supposed to have done it and it looks like they didn’t do it,” Oberholtzer said. “How it ended up in Syria, I’ll never know.”
He began receiving calls about the truck and the picture on Monday afternoon, Oberholtzer said. By Tuesday he said his business had received a thousand calls and faxes about the image.
“A few of the people are really ugly,” he said.
Derek Duckett, emergency management coordinator for Texas City, said he was unaware of any threats but was checking with local police to reach out to Mark 1 to see whether it needed assistance.
Oberholtzer said he didn’t know what to do about all the attention he was getting from the picture. He just wanted the public to know that the vehicle was no longer his.
“I just want it to go away, to tell you the truth,” he said.