Suspect photos released in Walmart arson theft case - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Suspect photos released in Walmart arson theft case

Posted:
Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Berrien County Sheriff's Department

It's a crime that keeps getting more bizarre the more you watch surveillance video. Investigators say a man started a fire in the Niles Walmart to divert attention from the iPads he was stealing.

It was Saturday around 12:30am, a man is seen walking into the Walmart in Niles, wearing a black hat, black trench coat, and black pants. He waits for an employee to leave the electronics counter,  then makes his way to scope out where the iPads are hidden. Fast forward to Sunday around 5:00am. Detective Lieutenant Greg Sanders believes the same man parked a black sedan in the exact same spot the night before, but the second time around, he walks into the store with a ski mask on and a duffle bag underneath his jacket. A short time later, he lights a pile of children's clothes on fire with flammable liquid. After the fire ignites, the suspect changes clothes, then steals those iPads he had his eye on.

Detective Lieutenant Sanders in a press conference Monday said, "It did activate the fire alarm and sprinkler system into the store. So this is a substantial loss for Walmart. We're hoping someone in the public recognizes this individual." The Niles Walmart store is closed until Tuesday, and the damage is estimated at over $1 million.
    
Customers still can't believe it.
Michael Armstrong says he read about it Monday morning, and comments, "What a way to break in and steal something!" The Niles Walmart parking was completely roped off Monday, and guarded by employees all afternoon. Employees were the only ones allowed inside to help with the cleanup. Detectives say since the suspect knew exactly where the iPads were stored, it's possible the thief was a former employee. Detective Lieutenant says, "It's certainly a possibility."

Niles resident Cynthia Havener is outraged, especially knowing she was headed to the electronics department the morning of the fire. She says, "I think it's terrible! Couldn't get my parts. I wanted to get my TV going... couldn't do it!"

Michael Armstrong of Niles says, "You look at a guy that sets up a diversion like that to rob a store.... DUMB!" Police hope by releasing the surveillance tapes, someone will turn this guy in before he tries the same thing somewhere else.     

Here's how you can help: If someone offers to sell you an iPad from an unnamed source call the Berrien County Sheriffs department. To get a better look at the suspect, watch the raw video.

If you have any information you are asked to contact the Berrien County Sheriffs Department at:
(269)983-7141 ext 7275 or email gsanders@berriencounty.org

You can also call Crime Stoppers at:
(574) 288-STOP or  1-800-342-STOP

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Boy scout finds marijuana plants in city park

    Boy scout finds marijuana plants in city park

    Will Kercher was working on removing invasive plants in Abshire Park Monday morningwhen he came across a different kind of "invasive" species...marijuana plants. Kercher, seventeen, was taking before pictures ofa wooded area in thepark. He was documenting the area before he helped clear it of bush honeysuckle when he came across four potted marijuana plants. He took a picture and then went to tellAaron Sawatsy-Kingsley, Goshen's City Forester.More >>
    Will Kercher was working on removing invasive plants in Abshire Park Monday morningwhen he came across a different kind of "invasive" species...marijuana plants. Kercher, seventeen, was taking before pictures ofa wooded area in thepark. He was documenting the area before he helped clear it of bush honeysuckle when he came across four potted marijuana plants. He took a picture and then went to tellAaron Sawatsy-Kingsley, Goshen's City Forester. More >>
  • Local Palestinians and Israeli's speak about recent violence

    Local Palestinians and Israeli's speak about recent violence

    The death toll in the Mideast conflict continues to rise."It's horrible, I mean I pray it gets better soon because I mean those images are horrible, horrible things," says Johnny Eid a local Palestinian.In South Bend,there was aPro-Israeli rally Tuesday night. Organizers say their message is one of peace."We have to be strong, just like Americans were strong after the attacks of 9/11, we have to be strong and stand with a fellow democracy," says Bob Feferman of the Jewish Federation of St. Jo...More >>
    The death toll in the Mideast conflict continues to rise."It's horrible, I mean I pray it gets better soon because I mean those images are horrible, horrible things," says Johnny Eid a local Palestinian.In South Bend,there was aPro-Israeli rally Tuesday night. Organizers say their message is one of peace."We have to be strong, just like Americans were strong after the attacks of 9/11, we have to be strong and stand with a fellow democracy," says Bob Feferman of the Jewish Federation of St. Jo...More >>
  • Dowagiac Police asking for help locating missing person

    Dowagiac Police asking for help locating missing person

    Rose Morris (Courtesy: Dowagiac Police)Rose Morris (Courtesy: Dowagiac Police)
    Dowagiac Police are asking for help from the public to find a woman last seen Thursday night.Police say Rose Morris, 25, was last seen by family members at around 5:30pm before going out to visit friends on Thursday evening in Dowagiac. After investigating police say Morris spent most of the night at a house in Dowagiac with friends until leaving at 11:30pm. Since then, there has been no new information as to her location.More >>
    Dowagiac Police are asking for help from the public to find a woman last seen Thursday night.Police say Rose Morris, 25, was last seen by family members at around 5:30pm before going out to visit friends on Thursday evening in Dowagiac. After investigating police say Morris spent most of the night at a house in Dowagiac with friends until leaving at 11:30pm. Since then, there has been no new information as to her location.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.