MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis woman was charged with two counts of arson after setting two fires inside of a Blaine Walmart store early Monday morning in order to cause a diversion while shoplifting.
Rachael Howard Robinson, 19, was charged with one count each of first- and second-degree arson for an incident that took place just before 12:30 a.m. at the Walmart at 11505 Ulysses Street NE, according to the Anoka County Attorney’s office.
Surveillance footage showed two people walking around the store while pushing a cart; one of them was a female who was setting the fires. Parking lot footage also clearly showed their vehicle.
Robinson admitted, after being read her rights, that she used a lighter to start a rack of jeans on fire, according to the criminal complaint.
Bags of bird seed were also ignited. She admitted that the fires were set to create a diversion so the two suspects could escape with their stolen items.
Store personnel say damage to the store could be in the six-figure range. The USDA was also called in to assess which items near the bird seed fire need to be removed.