Man pleads guilty to setting house fire that killed dog

Man pleads guilty to setting house fire that killed dog

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A man who set fire to a home and killing a dog pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Saeed Abdelsalem El-Helo was convicted of common law robbery, second degree arson and two counts of cruelty to animals.
Saeed Abdelsalem El-Helo was convicted of common law robbery, second degree arson and two counts of cruelty to animals. (Source: District Attorney's Office)

Saeed Abdelsalem El-Helo, 27, will serve between three and six years in prison after entering guilty pleas to common law robbery, second-degree arson and two counts of cruelty to animals.

Before setting the fire, El-Helo robbed a Scotchman convenience store on Carolina Beach Road in May 2018. He told the clerk he had a gun and ordered the employee to give him money from the cash register.

Witnesses were able to provide investigators wtih a description of the vehicle El-Helo was driving when he drove away.

El-Helo's vehicle was spotted shortly after outside of a home on Vance Street, in which he barricaded himself inside.

SWAT team members and negotiators were called to the house to help with the standoff.

El-Helo ultimately lit the residence on fire and crawled out a window. A dog that had been caged in the house died, while another was revived by firefighters.

He was treated at the burn unit in Chapel Hill where he confessed to robbing the Scotchman and setting the house on fire.

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