UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) – The owners of two local pizza shops — allegedly targeted by a third pizzeria owner who tried to wipe out his competition with mice — are now being embraced by the community.

Two days after the owner of Nina’s Bella Pizzeria was charged with putting mice in his neighbor’s pizza shops (see previous story), Upper Darby officials came to eat lunch at Verona Pizza, one of the two shops allegedly targeted.

“This is showing that the local community is not going to let a business get abused and then just walk away from it,” said mayor Tom Micozzie (second from right in photo).

“I’ve never seen mice used as a criminal tool — ever,” said Upper Darby police superintendent Michael Chitwood (far right).

Across the street, Harry Saritsogou, the owner of Uncle Nick’s Pizza, says he can’t believe he was targeted by a neighboring business:  “You heard, back in the day, when they were lighting each other’s places on fire.  I almost wish he would’ve done that.  Come with it!  What are you doing, throwing a couple of mice? Are you serious?”

“But there’s a happy ending to the story in that the businesses that were impacted by this are legitimate, good businesses, and that’s why we’re here having lunch,” Chitwood told reporters.

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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