ELYRIA, OHIO - A recent rain has washed off most of the tiny white crystals in Lisa Jones' short, concrete Elyria driveway, but the sugar poured into her Ford Explorer's gas tank last week can still be shaken out of the rubber filler neck to the tank.
Jones’ mechanic is unsure if the car will run, even after a thorough cleaning of the fuel system. Jones said she doesn't have the money to repair it, regardless of the cost. To top it off, that's the only vehicle she had to take her 3-year-old great-nephew, who is physically challenged, to his doctors' appointments.
Shortly after this story aired on NewsChannel5, Harts Automotive in Medina offered to pay the towing and repair costs for Jones and her nephew.
Last week on June 10 after a confrontation with some local teenagers prowling their South Carolina Avenue neighborhood in a black pick-up truck, Jones soon found her Explorer inoperable. Piles of sugar could be seen completely around the gas cap door.
Jones' fiancée, Ollie Smith, said he had words with the teens in the pick-up after he had heard them verbally abusing the preacher who lives across the street. Smith said he wasn't about to let the reckless teens treat his neighbor in the manner he had been witnessing.
"They had been talking rough to both of us and then drove off. About a day later, I saw them drive by my house, looking at it, ducking down in the back of their truck," said Smith.
The next day Smith noticed sugar in his driveway. Dumping out the rubber filler neck to the gas tank, he found it packed with, "a pound and a half to two pounds of sugar."
So, for now, Jones, as the boy's guardian, is forced to use Ohio Medicare's van ride services until they can find out the extent of the Explorer's damage. She's hoping someone can flush the gas tank and fuel system after the fuel filter was found packed with sugar.
She's upset that someone would do this to her car in response to an act of kindness to a minister living across the street. Jones said she was awake late that night watering her freshly-planted impatiens until almost 3 a.m. Jones said she knows they hadn't shown up to vandalize the SUV by then.
"If it's those kids that did that, then their mother's really need to do something, because those kids shouldn't have been outside," said Jones.
Elyria Police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said Monday that he is hoping any witnesses who saw something that night, or anyone with information on the crime, will come forward.
Witnesses are encouraged to contact Elyria Police Detective Bureau at 440-322-3465.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Lorain Co. Headlines
The MAC Baseball tournament has returned to Lorain County for a second year. Fans are pouring into All Pro Freight Stadium from across the Midwest.
The suspect wanted in connection to the death of a Lorain 17-year-old has surrendered to authorities.