Owner discovers bullet slug, vehicle damaged at transmission shop

benw@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 3, 2013 

The owner of a Columbus transmission shop returned to the business Wednesday to find a bullet slug on the floor and a damaged vehicle inside, police said.

“I’m still puzzled about it,” Michael Smith, owner of the business at 2514 E. Central St., said today.

Smith discovered the damaged when he arrived at the shop at 8 a.m. The damaged apparently occurred sometime after the business closed at 5 p.m. Friday and early Wednesday.

Police said the slug was found on the shop floor, about 10 feet from a 2003 Ford 150 pickup with a shattered windshield. Above the damaged vehicle, the owner also discovered a small hole in the shop’s tin roof.

“I think it was just like a total mishap,” said Smith who has been at the location for about 30 years. “My theory of it is I think somebody was shooting up in the air and the bullet just come down and mysteriously did that.”

Smith is certain the errant bullet went through the roof, broke the truck windshield and landed on the floor. “It broke the windshield,” Smith said. “I know it did.”

Smith said he had been called about an alarm going off at the business about 3:24 a.m. Wednesday. Officers were sent to check the business but determined the alarm was a mechanical problem. Police said there were no reports of gunfire in the area before the alarm call at the shop.

“The bullet had to set off the alarm,” Smith said. “It had to happen. I haven’t had no other prior incidents. I hadn’t had nothing disturbed or anything like that.”

Damage to the pickup and business were estimated at $550. Police seized the slug and the damage remains under investigation, police said.

The other puzzling fact about the damage is it occurred on Jan. 2, the day after New Year’s Day, Smith said. Celebrations should have been over by that time. “That is the only thing that puzzled me about it is the new year already had come in,” he said.

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