Man sets Phoenix grocery store on fire while accomplice steals food, police say

PHOENIX (AZFamily) — A man was arrested this week for allegedly setting a fire at a Phoenix grocery store in April to distract an accomplice and steal merchandise. Terrance David Tyler, 25, is charged with arson, among other offenses.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on April 9, firefighters were called to a Fry’s Food Store near 7th Avenue and Camelback Road for a report of a fire in the building. After the fire was extinguished, police reviewed surveillance video showing two men entering the grocery store and filling their shopping carts with merchandise.

According to court documents, one of the suspects, later identified as Andrew Valdez, was scanning items at a self-checkout lane. Surveillance showed Tyler walking toward an aisle with lighters. From there, the video allegedly shows Tyler then walking to the paper towel aisle and starting a fire.

A man's wanted poster.
David Terrace Tyler was arrested for allegedly setting a fire at a Phoenix grocery store in April.(azfamily)

While fire alarms were going off and staff were evacuating about 30 customers, Valdez reportedly left the store with a shopping cart full of unpaid items.

The emergency services extinguished the fire before it could spread to other areas. No one was injured. However, significant fire, smoke and water damage was reported in the store.

Police found Tyler and took him into custody on Monday. According to documents, he admitted to being with Valdez and setting the fire to distract from the theft.

He was charged with two counts of arson of an inhabited structure and shoplifting. Tyler’s bail was set at $75,000.

It is unclear whether Valdez was arrested.

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