Police arrested a Bristol man early Thursday morning who was found inside the Wasteland Gift Shop at 320 Terryville Rd., after responding to a burglar alarm. Derek N. Rupe, 29, of 35 Ruth St., Apt. No. 13, was held on a $50,000 bond after being arrested and charged with third degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, fifth degree larceny, carrying a dangerous weapon, first degree criminal mischief and third degree arson.
At a little after 1 a.m., police surrounded the shop and found Rupe inside, where he surrendered to police without incident, a press release said.
After an investigation, police said Rupe started a fire to weaken the exterior of the structure to help him get into the business. Rupe broke a water pipe upon entering the establishment, the release said, and the damages to the building and merchandise totaled over $1,500. Rupe was in possession of over $500 in cash and $48 in merchandise. The release said Rupe stole a martial arts weapon and a metal throwing star.
The Bristol Fire Department also responded to the scene to assist in the fire aspect of this case and ensure that the fire, set by the suspect, was completely extinguished, the release said.