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Manager set store ablaze with customers inside to hide her theft, Georgia cops say

What are some obvious signs of arson?

Joheida Fister, fire marshal with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division in South Carolina, talks about the telltale signs of arson.
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Joheida Fister, fire marshal with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division in South Carolina, talks about the telltale signs of arson.

The manager of a Dollar General in Georgia set the store on fire so she wouldn’t get caught stealing, officials say.

Kay Yvette Taylor, 41, who managed the Dollar General store in Douglas, allegedly set two fires as a distraction while police say she stole a $3,300 cash deposit from the store, according to a release from Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.

The fires were set at about 10:40 a.m. on Aug. 17, while customers were in the store, the release says.

“This is why it was very important for us to catch this suspect as quickly as possible,” Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King said in the release. “Anyone who is willing to put lives in jeopardy for personal gain is a danger to society and needs to be apprehended immediately.”

Taylor was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft by taking and first-degree arson, according to the release.

Officials estimate the fires did more than $300,000 worth of damage to the contents of the store and more than $399,000 worth of damage to the store’s structure, the release says.

Taylor is being held in the Coffee County Jail waiting for a bond hearing, the release says, and could face a $50,000 fine or one to 20 years behind bars for first-degree arson, according to the release.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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