Home Fire News Man robs Walmart after setting fire inside to cause distraction

Man robs Walmart after setting fire inside to cause distraction

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James Finn

The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

A man booked on counts of terrorism, attempted murder and arson is accused of setting a fire inside a Walmart in Hammond as he tried to rob the store, authorities said.

Terrence Michael Coe, 43, was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on Tuesday on a count each of aggravated arson, attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery and terrorism, a spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal’s office said.

Coe admitted to investigators that he set a fire in the paint aisle of the West Thomas Street Walmart on Christmas Eve in order to create a distraction as he tried to steal various items from the store, fire marshal’s office spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue said.

At least 500 customers and employees were in the store at the time but none were injured, Rodrigue said, and the store was evacuated safely. Employees and customers quickly put out the blaze with fire extinguishers, Rodrigue said.

Investigators said they later identified Coe based on surveillance footage from the store. The State Fire Marshal’s Office, Hammond Police Department and Hammond Fire Department investigated the case.


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