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Pizzeria owner accused of planting mice to sabotage rivals

Police call attempt to release rodents into rival restaurants “food terrorism by mice”.

Mice were hidden in a bag in the ceiling
Mice were hidden in a bag in the ceiling
Image: Ruud Hein via flickr

A MAN HAS been charged with animal cruelty after he was caught planting mice in the restaurants of his rivals.

Nickolas Galiatsatos, the owner of Nina’s Bella Pizzeria in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, US, has also been charged with disorderly conduct and harassment after attempting to stage two separate infestations in other local pizzerias.

Police say Galiatsatos walked into Verona Pizza on Monday afternoon and asked to use the bathroom. When the owner saw a footprint on the toilet seat after Galiatsatos left, he investigated further and found a bag stashed in the roof behind a ceiling panel.

The owner then turned over the bag to two police officers that were eating lunch in his restaurant at the time. Inside they discovered three live white mice.

The officers then watched the man walk across the street to Uncle Nick’s Pizza, where he dropped another bag into a rubbish bin. This bag was later found to contain six mice, five of which were alive.

Upper Darby Police Supt Michael Chitwood told reporters that he “had never had anything like this where mice have been used as an instrument of crime. This is food terrorism by mice”.

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