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Vandalized Liquor Store Hit by Fire

November 29, 2005|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — A suspected arson fire damaged a liquor store just days after the shop was trashed by vandals wearing suits and bow ties, authorities said.

The fire destroyed all the merchandise inside the New York Market and caused serious damage to the building's structure, said Battalion Chief Lorenzo Frediani of the Oakland Fire Department.

Police had no suspects and wouldn't say whether they believed the blaze, reported about 1 a.m. Monday, was connected to incidents of vandalism last week at the store and the nearby San Pablo Market and Liquor in West Oakland.

Workers at both stores said a group of about a dozen men dressed in suits and bow ties stormed into the shops on Wednesday, smashed liquor bottles and knocked over racks of food.

The men, all of whom were black, told the owners to stop selling alcohol to black people, authorities said.

Investigators are looking into the incidents as hate crimes.

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