Vandalism was the apparent motive behind a pipe bomb that exploded in a north Scottsdale restaurant late Monday or early Tuesday, authorities said.
No one was injured in the small explosion inside the kitchen of Dickie’s Dogs, 10101 E. Bell Road, which specializes in Chicago-style hot dogs, said Special Agent Tom Mangan with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"Obviously, the motive was to do some damage to the place," Mangan said.
The restaurant’s alarm system was disabled before the back door was pried open, he said.
Dickie’s Dogs has been broken into twice in the past year, including once last week, said Richard Melone, the 59-year-old Scottsdale man who owns and operates the small, deli-style restaurant. Investigators will review previous break-ins to see if a connection can be established, Mangan said.
Last year, someone broke in and extinguished all of the stove and oven pilot lights before turning on the gas. Natural gas filled the entire strip mall where the restaurant is located before someone noticed, Melone said.
"I don’t know what’s behind it. . . . There’s a lot of sick people in the world," said Melone, who two years ago last month embarked on what he said was his dream of running his own restaurant.
He said he knew something was wrong when he walked in Tuesday morning and saw dust, debris and twisted pots. He called Scottsdale police, who in turn contacted the ATF.
Mangan said remains of the pipe bomb have been sent to a forensics lab in San Francisco for analysis and collection of evidence, such as fingerprints. He said the vandals, if found and prosecuted, face a minimum of 15 years in federal prison on charges of manufacturing and using an explosive device.