The fire cost Richland Fred Meyer millions Police say it was for

first_imgThe fire that shuttered Richland’s Fred Meyer for almost three days and caused millions worth of damage to the store and merchandise allegedly was started to cover up the theft of a PlayStation.Daniel R. Wright was going to trade the video game console with Eliseo J. Garcia for heroin, court documents show.But just 30 minutes after setting fire to a store display with yarn, Wright had Garcia drive him to the Benton County jail.It didn’t take long for jail officials to confirm for Richland police that the man in the Fred Meyer surveillance video was the same man who had just checked into the Kennewick facility, documents said.Wright denied being at Fred Meyer at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 26. However, his alibi — his wife — told investigators she had not seen her husband since 8 p.m.She also identified him in the store video, court documents said.Garcia kept the stolen PlayStation, documents said. It is valued at $399.He denied knowing anything about the arson, claiming that he met up with Wright in the store parking lot.Surveillance footage allegedly showed Garcia in the store before the fire.Wright, 35, pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree arson and first-degree trafficking in stolen property, both felonies.Trial is set for March 26.The arson charge includes the aggravating circumstance that it involved an economic loss substantially greater than is typical for the crime. An aggravating factor of recent recidivism is attached to the trafficking charge.last_img

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