K-Maxx: ‘competition’ vandalized store

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2011

K-Maxx No. 2, located on Alabama 70 in Columbiana, was vandalized Sunday night, the store's manager said. (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – A gas station was vandalized late Sunday night, and the manager of K-Maxx No. 2 on Tuesday blamed “the competition” for the act.

K-Maxx manager Sandy Doucette said somebody tore the electrical box off the outside of the building about 11 p.m. on Sunday, causing the store to open several hours later than usual Monday morning.

“We probably lost a couple grand in business because of it,” said Doucette, noting the store opened Monday at about 9:30 a.m. instead of the usual 6 a.m.

K-Maxx is located on Alabama 70 at its intersection with County Road 26.

Doucette blamed the vandalism on “the competition” in Columbiana, which has two other gas stations.

“We can always point fingers, but we can’t prove it,” she said.

Asked why competitors would vandalize the store, she said because “our gas prices are lower.”

A banner in front of K-Maxx claims the store has the “lowest prices in Shelby County.” K-Maxx on Tuesday lowered its price to $2.99 per gallon.

Doucette said Sunday’s incident wasn’t the first time vandals have targeted the store.

In the past, she said, somebody has slashed with a knife a soft drink sign in front of the store, as well as sliced open garbage bags in the garbage cans by the gas pumps.

K-Maxx is one of three gas stations located within Columbiana city limits, along with the Kangaroo Express, located at intersection of Alabama 25 and 70, and the Columbiana Chevron, located on East College Street.

When told of K-Maxx’s allegations over the phone, a woman who identified herself as a manager at Kangaroo Express responded, “Are you serious?” and referred all further inquiry to the district manager. A message left for the district manager Tuesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Tyler Enders, owner of the Columbiana Chevron, called K-Maxx’s allegations “ludicrous.”

“I, nor any of my employees, would have any interest or motivations in vandalizing K-Maxx,” he said.