Second Suspect Arrested in Target Arson Case

Friday, Feb 21, 2014  |  Updated 4:07 PM EDT
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19 yr old Erica Anderson was arraigned today

19 yr old Erica Anderson was arraigned today

Police have arrested a second person accused of setting a fire at the Target at the Enfield Square Shopping Center last month.

Police arrested Danishia Thomas, 24, yesterday and charged her with second-degree arson, conspiracy to commit arson in the second degree, first-degree reckless endangerment, sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree.

Erica Anderson, 19, of Enfield, was arrested Tuesday night on a warrant charging her with second-degree arson, conspiracy to commit second-degree arson and first-degree reckless endangerment.

She has a 10-month-old child and has had mental health issues after the birth of her child, according to officials. 

Police said she has no prior convictions but there is a pending case involving shoplifting at a Walmart. 

Anderson is a lifelong Connecticut resident and lives with her parents.

Store employees said they believed the fire broke out after candles were lit inside the store's seasonal department.

Authorities said it appears the suspects were attempting to shoplift and set the fire to create a diversion. A witness told police she saw two young women leaving the area where the fire broke out and push a shopping cart into the parking lot without paying.

According to police, the fire started in a display of paper products. No injuries were reported and the fire was contained to one aisle.

Anderson told her boyfriend that the friend she was shopping with, identified as Thomas, set the fire using STP fuel additive, according to the affidavit.

The document also says Thomas, 24, also of Enfield, confessed setting the fire to a friend but said the idea was Anderson's.

Anderson was charged with sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny.

She was in custody on $200,000, appeared in Superior Court in Enfield on Wednesday and the judge set bond at $100,000. The case has been continued to March 19.

Bond for Thomas was set at $100,000. She has been released, according to court documents. She is due back in court on March 19.

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