Dollar General Manager Allegedly Sets Fire to Store With Customers Inside to Conceal Theft

By Justin Morgan

The manager of a Dollar General store in Georgia has been accused of setting fire to the store—while customers were inside—in an attempt to conceal the theft of a $3,300 cash deposit, authorities said.

Kay Yvette Taylor, 41, has been charged with one count of theft and one count of first-degree arson, a news release from the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner said.

On Aug. 17, authorities responded to a call around 10:40 a.m. about a fire at a Douglas Dollar store on 1201 North Highway 221. It was later discovered that two separate fires had been set on the premises.

“The fire was set while customers were inside the store,” said Coffee County Fire Commissioner John King. “This is why it was very important for us to catch this suspect as quickly as possible.”

“Anyone who is willing to put lives in jeopardy for personal gain is a danger to society and needs to be apprehended immediately,” King was quoted in the release.

Dollar General.
The Dollar General where the fires occurred. (Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner)

The fires caused over $300,000 in damages to the store contents, and an additional $399,000 in damages to the building’s structure.

A subsequent investigation revealed that a $3,300 cash deposit was unaccounted for, leading investigators to believe it was the motive behind the arson.

It’s not clear how many people were inside the store during the fire.

On Sept. 10, police arrested Taylor, who worked there as the manager. She is being held at Coffee County Jail where she is awaiting a bond hearing.

Taylor, who is from Douglas, Georgia, could be facing a $50,000 fine or up to 20 years in prison, or both, for the First Degree Arson charge.

Authorities are asking anyone who was at the store on Aug. 17 to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.

Animation Studio Arson Suspect Reportedly Had Grudge

Earlier this year in Japan, a man raging about theft set fire to a beloved animation studio, killing 33 people and crushing the hearts of comic fans in the country and around the world.

Japan Animation Studio Fire
A woman prays to honor the victims of Thursday’s fire at the Kyoto Animation Studio building, in Kyoto, Japan, on July 19, 2019. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

Witness accounts and reports suggested the man had a grudge against Kyoto Animation, but police said the suspect, Shinji Aoba, did not work for the studio.

Aoba, 41, was hospitalized with severe burns and was unable to talk following the fire. Police said the man was from a city near Tokyo.

The man told police that he set the fire because he thought “(Kyoto Animation) stole novels,” according to Japanese media. It was unclear if he had contacted the studio earlier.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.