The owner of a South Jersey bowling alley knocked down its only competitor in the entire county by setting it on fire, says police.
Loyle Lanes, a local institution in Vineland, N.J. for the past 50 years, was destroyed by a fire Jan. 11., leaving more than $4 million worth of damage in its wake. The bowling alley’s rival is to blame, say police.
"It's just beyond our comprehension," said owner Charles Loyle as he stood in front of the burned out business he and his bothers built.
Steven H. Smink, 47, the owner of Loyle Lanes’ only competitor-- Pike Lanes Family Fun Center in Deerfield, Cumberland County-- was arrested on charges of aggravated arson, aggravated arson for hire and conspiracy Wednesday.
Police arrested Smink at his home on the 9300 block of Verree Road in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia.
Police also arrested Felix Manzano Jr., 21, and an unidentified 17-year-old male, who both live on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly, on arson charges.
Authorities are mum over the motive for the crime and Loyle says he doesn't know Smick, but heard rumors that his rival would surpass him.
"We got comments that he would put us out of business in two years, but it took him a little over two years but to take us out of business they had to burn us down," Loyle said.
Police are requesting all three suspects be extradited to New Jersey. None are suspected of being nihilists.