Police: Target Arson Was Diversion To Steal Merchandise

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware man was arrested Monday and charged with arson and other offenses in a Target store fire that police said he started “as a diversion to steal a cart full of merchandise.”

The 26-year-old man started the fire in the linen section of the store in Dover on July 10 and the store was quickly evacuated, Dover police said in a news release. No injuries were reported, but $3 million to $4 million in merchandise was damaged by smoke or fire, police said.

Target spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo said the store will remain closed for several weeks for repairs and restocking, The News Journal reported.

Police said investigators used surveillance footage and physical evidence from the store to identify the suspect. The Dover man was arrested at home and charged with first-degree arson, 19 counts of first-degree reckless endangering, criminal mischief of $5,000 or greater, shoplifting under $1,500 and wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, police said. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $137,000 cash bond.