A 38-year-old man suspected in a pizza dough tampering case at the Hannaford supermarket in Saco was arrested Sunday night by police officers in Dover, New Hampshire.

After Nicholas R. Mitchell was taken into custody, authorities said there have been reports of other tampering cases at Hannaford stores elsewhere in New England and in New York state.

Nicholas R. Mitchell Photo supplied by Saco police

A customer at the Saco Hannaford’s found razor blades in Portland Pie pizza dough purchased at the store on Oct. 5. But the police investigation widened in subsequent days, and on Sunday Hannaford issued a product recall for all Portland Pie dough and cheese products sold at its 184 stores in New York, Massachussetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The recall is retroactive to Aug. 1, according to Hannaford spokeswoman Ericka Dodge.

“Hannaford Supermarkets has issued a recall for all Portland Pie cheese and Portland Pie fresh dough sold in the deli department,” Hannaford said in its recall statement. “After what is believed to be further malicious tampering incidents involving metal objects inserted into Portland Pie products, Hannaford has removed all Portland Pie products from all store shelves and has paused replenishment of the products indefinitely.”

The grocery store chain said that “out of an abundance of caution, Hannaford has expanded its recall for Portland Pie pizza dough to include all Portland Pie branded products at all Hannaford stores.”

Portland Pie branded products are supplied by It’ll Be Pizza, which operates a manufacturing facility in Scarborough. Saco police said Mitchell is a former associate of It’ll Be Pizza company.


Mitchell’s arrest came just six days after a customer at the Saco Hannaford reported finding razor blades in a package of Portland Pie fresh pizza dough. Saco police relied on surveillance footage to identify the suspect, but did not release any details about him until Sunday, when they began circulating a photograph of Mitchell. They asked for the public’s help in locating him on Sunday and said they had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Then, on Sunday evening, Saco police announced in a post on its Facebook page that Mitchell had been taken into custody by police in Dover, New Hampshire. The details of his arrest and where he is being held have not been released.

Saco Deputy Police Chief Corey Huntress said that Mitchell will have to be extradited back to Maine. Huntress declined to elaborate on the charges Mitchell may have to face. Police have been unable to identify Mitchell’s last place of residence.

“We don’t have a good address for him and that is the reason we are asking for the public’s help in locating him,” Huntress wrote in an email a couple of hours before Mitchell was arrested. “There are now cases in other Hannaford stores in southern Maine and New Hampshire. We are actively working with those agencies to locate Mr. Mitchell.”

“We can only say that Hannaford has other cases of this nature in other stores. We cannot say at this time that Mitchell is a suspect in those cases,” Huntress added.

At the time of the food tampering incident at the Saco Hannaford, Mitchell was seen operating a 2005 gray or silver Toyota Camry with a black left front fender and sunroof. His license plate number is Maine 6134XP.


Hannaford said the recall timeline includes all Portland Pie pizza products purchased between Aug. 1 and Oct. 11.

Customers who purchased Portland Pie pizza dough and Portland Pie cheese at any Hannaford deli between those dates should not consume the products and may return the product for a full refund. Customers are also being urged to check storage areas, including freezers, for product that may have been purchased during that timeframe.

No injuries or illnesses have been reported in connection with the malicious tampering case. Authorities have not said yet what might have motivated Mitchell’s actions.

Portland Pie Co. is based in South Portland and operates seven restaurants in Bangor, Biddeford, Brunswick, Portland, Waterville, Scarborough and Westbrook.

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