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Bowling center fire, robbery investigation continues

Bowling center fire, robbery investigation continues

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WATERLOO – Police continue to investigate a robbery and fire at a Waterloo bowling center.

Investigators have collected surveillance videos from businesses and homes near Maple Lanes, 2608 University Ave., and are searching the footage for information, said Maj. Joe Leibold with the Waterloo Police Department.

He said authorities have yet to retrieve video from Maple Lanes’ security system, and it wasn’t clear if this evidence survived the fire.

Officers are also conducting interviews, he said. No arrests have been made in the case as of Wednesday.

The city fire marshal was on the scene Tuesday gathering evidence to determine how and where the blaze started and how it spread through the building.

Police said it appears robbers set the fire after searching the business for money and valuables. There was extensive fire damage to the pro shop, office and kitchen areas to the front of the building, and the roofing system was damaged when flames rose into the ceiling.

The flames didn’t reach the bowling lanes, but the whole building sustained heavy smoke damage, firefighters said.

The robbers struck early Tuesday — estimated to be around 3:15 a.m. — detaining an overnight maintenance worker and forcing him to the floor, according to police. The employee remained face-down on the floor while the intruders went through the business, apparently trying to open a safe.

The worker told police that after about an hour, he smelled smoke and could feel heat, so he fled the building and went to the fire station a block away.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the police department at 291-2515 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at (855) 300-8477. Tips may also be left at WWW.CVCRIMESTOP.COM Tips may also be sent with TipSubmit or by texting the word CEDAR plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

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