Coins and Stamps has relocated into a temporary store front only a few blocks up the street from where the burned out location that will be renovated. The fire that gutted the store has been determined to be an arson and remains under investigation.
City of Grosse Pointe Detective Christopher Lee said investigators are looking into new leads related to similar break-ins of similar businesses in Birmingham. Meanwhile, investigators are also still awaiting evaluation of evidence sent to the Michigan State Police crime lab related to possible accelerants used to ignite the blaze, he said.
Co-owner Michael Wrobleski has opened a temporary location 17854 Mack Ave. and is holding limited business operations while the original location, 17658 Mack Ave., is rebuilt. He will not have as much product to offer in the temporary location due to security, he told Patch, but will be open for buying and selling.
Leading up to the fire, Coins and Stamps had been broken into twice within a matter of weeks and then it was broken into a third time after the fire. All three of the burglaries are under investigation and detectives believe all of the crimes are related although they cannot definitively say so yet.
The origin of the fire has been determined by the Grosse Pointe-Harper Woods Arson Investigation Team to be a backroom that Wrobleski previously told Patch was a reference library--a resource that he said is not replaceable. It was a collection that had been created throughout a number of years.
Investigators have video surveillance that shows two men walking behind the businesses in that block shortly before 4 a.m. On the video they start out walking in the middle of the lot and then they get closer and closer to the rear of the building. Both of the men are carrying unknown objects in their hands at the beginning of the video and then after walking away from the the coin store, one of them threw something in a dumpster.
Investigators found a Bic lighter in the dumpster that was unlike the rest of the trash they believe may have been used to help intentionally set the fire. They also gathered fire debris from the room of origin, caulk from near the window on the room of origin and two pieces of carpeting.
The burn pattern evaluated by investigators does not lend itself to an accidental fire as there were no electrical lines in the area and no other sources that could have started the fire, according to the investigators report.
The Michigan Arson Prevention Committee if offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that results in an arrest or conviction.