SHELBY, N.C. -- A Shelby car dealer stands to lose everything after his car lot was hit by vandals last week.
Earnest Aiken was still trying to recover after thieves burned down his first business center that was located right next door on East Dixon Boulevard.
Walking through his car lot, Dixon looks at the cars that had windows smashed and tires flattened.
“There’s 17 windshields, front and back on a few, and 26 tires. I mean, the lot is completely destroyed,” said Aiken.
It’s the second time he’s almost lost everything in less than a year. At the far end of the lot there is a concrete slab -- all that's left of his first business. He sold motorcycles until someone broke in last December, set the building on fire and stole the motorcycles.
The building and his life savings were all but gone.
“Everything that it took for us to build the building and put the business together, and then see it all completely destroyed in a matter of an hour or so,” he said.
Aiken scraped together the money to start again, with a the car lot and a small furniture business. The catch was he could not get insurance, he claims, because police had not closed the original case, saying the investigation was ongoing.
Ten months had passed, the first case was still open and then vandals hit the car lot and Aiken said he will now have to pay the cost.
“We can never withstand something like this, “ he said, shaking his head.
But Aiken said he is not ever going to give up.
“You know you have your doubts sometimes... but this is what I love, this is what I do.”