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July 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Man accused of setting $2 million arson to Shoreline Sears

Bail was set at $1 million Tuesday for a 38-year-old Shoreline man who is suspected of starting a fire inside a Sears department store earlier this month that has cost the retailer nearly $2 million in damage and lost business, according to the statement of probable cause outlining the police case against the man.

The man was arrested at the police station in Shoreline on Monday and booked into the King County Jail on investigation of first-degree arson, according to the statement and jail records.

The man is suspected of lighting mattress covers on fire in the home-fashions department at the Sears store in Shoreline on July 18, the statement says. While the fire “was held in check” when three overhead sprinklers were activated, smoke and water damage to the building, as well as lost business and merchandise “is approaching $2 million,” it says. It appears the man used cologne as an accelerant to start the fire.

Store security officers identified the arson suspect from store video surveillance footage and previous contacts in which he allegedly shoplifted “fragrances, CDs and DVDs,” the statement says. The day after the fire, a loss prevention officer reviewed footage and observed the man take two boxes of men’s fragrance and carry them into the home fashions department, and the fire started in that area several minutes later, it says.

Another employee later found the two discarded men’s fragrance boxes, hidden behind some bedding merchandise, while clearing out damaged stock, the statement says.

The man is developmentally disabled and “exhibits dangers patterns for firesetting,” says the statement, which notes that he “may not be suitable for general population” while in custody at the jail.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: arson, Shoreline

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