Thursday, June 12, 2014 – 10:33 a.m.
Andrew Fine, who is employed by Laughlin Automotive & Body Shop, was interviewed by the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department as part of an investigation into Laughlin Auto Body prompted by citizen allegations the business was defrauding its customers.
In June, Detectives Frank Doyle and Jo Williams talked with Mr. Fine at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective F. Doyle
- Detective J. Williams
- Andrew Fine
Detective Williams: Thank you for coming in this morning.
Detective Doyle: Could you please state your name and address?
Andrew Fine: Andy Fine. I live at 596 Hathorn Road, here in Oxford.
Detective Doyle: And what is your occupation?
Andrew Fine: I'm a mechanic. I work on cars, trucks, heavy trucks, you name it. I've even worked on tractors before. And I do a lot of body repair.
Detective Williams: Are you self-employed?
Andrew Fine: No.
Detective Doyle: Where do you work?
Andrew Fine: Laughlin Auto Body.
Detective Williams: How's business?
Andrew Fine: Real good. Real steady. Hell, with the college kids banging up daddy's BMW all the time, we've got all the business we need. Come Monday morning, they're lined up out the door.
Detective Williams: So the shop is doing well. Making a lot of money?
Andrew Fine: I don't know for sure. You'd have to talk to Chas Laughlin. I suppose we're doing all right, but he's got the books and can tell you all the details.
Detective Doyle: I've always wondered how garages work. I mean, any idiot knows that you've got to buy the parts and pay for the labor, but what else goes into the car repair business?
Andrew Fine: Obviously, you've got to pay for the tools and equipment.
Detective Doyle: Oh, yeah. Sure.
Andrew Fine: And like you said, labor and all that.
Detective Williams: What is the usual mark-up on parts?
Andrew Fine: That just depends.
Detective Doyle: On what?
Andrew Fine: Well, depends on how much work it is for us to handle it. I mean, if we can just call down to NAPA and they've got it, and Ricky can drop it off on his way to lunch, then we won't charge much of a mark-up on that. But if it's some odd part and we've got to spend a lot of time researching it and order it from Detroit or something, then there's more hassle involved so more mark-up.
Detective Williams: Some uniform officers were telling me that lots of cars have been getting their hubcaps stolen out at the mall. Friday, Saturday night, everyone's at the movies. They come out, and their hubcaps are gone. And just regular, stock hubcaps. From normal cars like Ford Escorts or Honda Civics. Nothing special. Why does that happen? I mean, if some kid's got all the big ass wheels with special rims and all that like those rappers, I can understand it. But why steal normal hubcaps?
Andrew Fine: Dumb thieves, I suppose.
Detective Williams: Can they sell them?
Andrew Fine: Sure, they can. You hear stories of chop shops around that take stuff like that. Turn over the stolen stuff to mechanics and what have you.
Detective Doyle: You ever been involved in something like that?
Andrew Fine: No, sir, I ain't.
Detective Williams: Would Laughlin Auto Body do something like that? Use stolen parts in their car repairs?
Andrew Fine: Not to my knowledge. Everything we use comes in the factory boxes and stuff.
Detective Williams: Would it be possible for someone to steal factory shipments and then turn them over to cheating garages?
Andrew Fine: I don't see why not. I mean, you can steal anything, right? So sure, that could happen. Stolen parts could come off somebody's car, or they could come off the shipment truck from the factory.
Detective Doyle: But y'all don't do anything like that.
Andrew Fine: Nope.
Detective Williams: Do you know any mechanics here in town that do use stolen parts?
Andrew Fine: Nope.
Detective Doyle: You sure about that?
Andrew Fine: Yep.
Detective Williams: Okay, then we thank you for your time.
Andrew Fine: Sure.
Interview ended – 10:56 a.m.