HALIFAX – RCMP in Nova Scotia say a fire at a small business in Lake Echo is being considered suspicious.
Fire crews were called to Crazy Weasel Pizza at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames quickly, but the building sustained heavy smoke and water damage.
“It is deemed suspicious at this time because investigators did find the rear door of the building breached, which means it was forced open,” said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Greg Church.
Fadi Jreije, the pizza shop’s owner, says he believes money from the cash register, the surveillance footage recorder and the television were stolen before his shop was set on fire.
He says it isn’t the first time his shop has been the target of criminal activity.
About three weeks ago, three armed men wearing masks went into the shop, locked the only employee there inside a walk-in cooler and robbed it.
The RCMP say the 59-year-old employee wasn’t injured. The RCMP is looking for a possible connection between that incident and the fire.
“Investigators at the scene have confirmed this is the same location where the robbery occurred and they certainly will be exploring that avenue as well,” said Church.
Jreije says a few months ago one of the shop’s signs was also set on fire, last year the storefront window was vandalized, and the year before the window was smashed in.
Members of the fire investigation team left the scene early Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson with the fire department said they expect to release the exact cause of the fire within the next few days.
Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.