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Conn. man accused of setting fire to gift shop, stealing martial arts weapons

Bristol, Conn. Police

Derek Rupe is accused of setting fire to a shop in Bristol, Conn., and stealing martial arts weapons.

A 29-year-old Bristol, Conn., man is suspected of setting fire to the Wasteland Gift Shop in Bristol to help him get in and then stealing martial arts weapons, according to Bristol police.

Police responded to the shop at 320 Terryville Road at 1:22 a.m. on Thursday after the burglar alarm went off and found Derek N. Rupe, of Ruth Street in Bristol, inside, according to police.

Rupe surrendered to police.

As officers investigated, they determined that Rupe started a fire to weaken the outside of the building to make it easier to get inside, then broke a water pipe, according to a news release from police.

Rupe was found with more than $500 in cash and $48 in stolen merchandise, including some sort of martial arts weapon and a metal throwing star, according to police.

Police estimate that Rupe caused around $15,000 of damage to the building and merchandise.

He was charged with third-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, fifth-degree larceny, carrying a dangerous weapon, first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree arson and held on $50,000 surety bond.

The Bristol Fire Department also responded to ensure that the fire was completely extinguished.