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  • AZCentral | The Arizona Republic

    Man arrested after setting fire in a grocery store to steal groceries

    By Lux Butler, Arizona Republic,


    Two men were accused of trying to steal a cart full of groceries in April and setting a Phoenix Fry's grocery store on fire as a distraction. One suspect is now in police custody while authorities search for the other.

    Shortly after 10 p.m. on April 9, 30 customers and a dozen grocery store employees were evacuated from the Fry's grocery store located near 7th Avenue and Camelback Road.

    Once the fire was extinguished, investigators reviewed the store's surveillance footage and identified a 25-year-old man as the individual responsible for the fire. Police reports allege that the man had used a grill lighter to set the store's paper towel aisle ablaze.

    The Arizona Republic/ has changed its approach to covering crime and typically does not identify people arrested or charged for all but the most serious cases.

    Surveillance footage showed that the 25-year-old man was accompanied by another man in the store prior to setting the fire. The other individual was scanning the items in the pairs' cart at self-checkout while the 25-year-old man lit the flames.

    The report also said that the 25-year-old man immediately exited the store after starting the fire. As customers and staff were evacuated, the other individual exited the building with the cart of groceries without paying for the merchandise.

    On Monday night police arrested the 25-year-old man, charging him with arson and shoplifting. Police allege that at the time of his arrest, he admitted to setting the fire in April as a distraction for the theft and being with the other suspect the evening of the incident.

    The 25-year-old man was being held on a $75,000 bail and authorities are still in search of the other suspect.

    This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Man arrested after setting fire in a grocery store to steal groceries

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