CHICAGO — Refrigeration and brake lines were cut on up to 48 trucks of a Chicago-area company that transports fresh and frozen seafood, according to published reports. The FBI is said to be investigating the possibility that the animal rights group Animal Liberation Front (ALF) was involved because of its opposition to the killing of sea creatures.

The vandalism apparently took place early on Monday, Feb. 3, and was discovered later that morning when a driver got into one of the trucks and realized that the brakes did not work as he was leaving the unsecured parking lot. An investigation revealed damage to approximately four-dozen vehicles used by Supreme Lobster, a company that delivers seafood to more than 5,000 restaurants, supermarkets, retail outlets, and hotels/motels in the Chicago area. According to reports, the company also does business in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

During the day on Monday, the company was able to lease replacement trucks and make scheduled deliveries.

“We are investigating this as a possible act of domestic terrorism,” said a spokesperson for the FBI, which was called in because ALF is alleged to have committed other acts in the Midwest including the release of 1,200 minks in Iowa.

Officials in the seafood industry were especially concerned over the recent incident because while the cutting of refrigeration lines may affect the value of the seafood, the cutting of brake lines puts human life at risk.

Publication date: 02/03/2003