SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah authorities issued an arrest warrant Monday for a 51-year-old woman after she allegedly lit a Savers clothing rack on fire before fleeing the store.
Jolene Velarde is charged with one count of aggravated arson in connection to the thrift store fire on Aug. 27, court documents filed in Salt Lake County say.
According to investigators from the Unified Fire Authority, Velarde was pushing a shopping cart of clothes and stopped by a rack. As she walked away, smoke began rising by the rack followed by flames.
Velarde fled the scene leaving the cart behind as employees worked to extinguish the fire.
Authorities issued the arrest warrant as they say Velarde endangered “patrons and employees of that business and the surrounding strip mall, the neighboring community, first responders and herself,” court documents say.
Investigators used facial recognition comparing the Savers surveillance video to driver’s licenses to identify Velarde. She has not yet been taken into custody or summoned to court as she has no known address.