Work truck stolen from Luling found stripped, burned

A Hahnville High School alumnus and contractor working on the construction of the new Today’s Car Care building in Luling had his work truck stolen from the site before later finding it completely stripped down of its parts and burned in Belle Chasse two weeks later.

James Cupp Jr., owner of Husbands for Hire Construction, left his truck parked on Mimosa Avenue the night of July 2. Sometime between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. the next morning, it went missing. The 2011 Dodge truck was emblazoned with his logo and business and contact information.

“I grew up two blocks from there,” Cupp said. “I owned a house a few blocks from there … there’s no way in a million years that I thought that truck was at risk right there.”

The truck was found 15 days later in Plaquemines Parish, stripped and burned beyond recognition. His tool box and tools were stolen, and there were also bullet holes in the truck.

“It looked like after the fact, some kids drug it out the woods and left it in the middle of a trail, maybe used it for target practice,” Cupp said.

He added, that to his knowledge, police haven’t found a suspect to date.

The truck was built, Cupp noted, just before Dodge began including computer chips in the ignition keys in order to deter theft.

“I think it was a crime of opportunity,” he said. “Someone knew how to start the ignition on that kind of truck. There were (more valuable vehicles) out there, but they saw something easy and took off.”

He said between the trucks and the tools, insurance would compensate him for $19,000. But regardless, Cupp said the experience has made him that much more mindful of his possessions in his day to day life.

“I won’t leave my van out there for sure. It’s full of tools,” he said. “We’ve kind of been picking up anything expensive of ours and keeping it with us when we leave.”


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