Three Charlotte area residents have been accused of involvement in a fire that occurred at a local Goodwill store. The fire was so severe that it closed the store for seven months. All three are now facing criminal charges in connection with the incident.
One of the accused was a former employee at the store. The damage to the store was massive and resulted in half a million dollars in damage. A search warrant obtained by authorities noted that surveillance video showed a vehicle close to the store before the fire began. After investigating, it was discovered the vehicle apparently belonged to an employee who had been fired from the store the day before the fire occurred.
The surveillance video also showed someone using a tool to break into the store. They entered and allegedly poured an accelerant all over the store before using a match to start the blaze. When the former employee's car was searched, authorities claim to have found matches similar to the ones used in the blaze. The investigation took months to complete, but the three individuals were taken into custody and are now facing arson-related criminal charges.
The exact charges against the three individuals have not been detailed, but it is likely a conviction could bring severe consequences, especially considering the amount of damage done to the store. It may be in their best interests to ensure they fully understand the significance of the charges and what the penalties could be in the event of a conviction. Facing criminal charges in Charlotte can be very scary for those accused, but fortunately all three are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law unless and until proved guilty. As the case heads to court, they may want to focus on preparing a criminal defense to both protect their legal rights and fight the allegations made against them.
Source: CharlotteObserver.com, "3 charged in Goodwill arson case," Nov. 1, 2012