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Topless Coffee Shop Arson Suspect Charged

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(CBS/iStockPhoto)
VASSALBORO, Maine (CBS/AP) The Grand View Topless Coffee Shop was much too hot for some residents of tiny Vassalboro -- and that's even before it burned to the ground in a fire.

Now, officials have charged 49-year-old Raymond Bellavance of nearby Augusta, Maine with arson, in the June 2009 blaze that destroyed the controversial java joint, where the suspect's girlfriend worked.

The fire, which also destroyed neighboring apartments, was set just hours after the coffee shop's owner met with town officials, and told them he planned to make his business even more like a strip club.

Police say they are searching for Bellavance, who hasn't been seen in a couple of days. Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland says investigators are not releasing the suspected motive for the arson.


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November 13, 2009 - Bare-istas Back in Business: Topless Java Joint Reopens After Arson Attack
July 14, 2009 - Bare-istas: Topless Coffee Shop Will Rise Again After Arson

  • Barry Leibowitz

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