The man who authorities say burned down the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in June has been arrested in South Carolina.

Raymond J. Bellavance Jr., 49, of Augusta was arrested Wednesday, said Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle. “We’ll be making formal arrangements to bring him back.”

Fowle credited the work of the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the Southern Maine Violent Crimes Task Force of the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Fire Marshal’s Office investigator Kenneth MacMaster said Bellavance was en route Wednesday afternoon to the Spartanburg County Detention Facility in Spartanburg, S.C.

MacMaster said he had few details of the arrest. “He was apprehended without incident, so I’ve been told,” he said.

Bellavance had been on the lam since he was released from jail in Augusta on April 2 after being held on an unrelated charge. Authorities received judicial permission to arrest him on the arson charge 24 hours later, and a warrant was issued April 5.

Donald Crabtree, owner of the coffee shop in Vassalboro, said “I feel safer now that they got him.”


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