Over the past two weeks, four nearby Walmart locations, two in Mobile, one in Gulfport, Miss., and another in Biloxi, Miss., have had fires reported inside their facilities. The FBI is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the location and identity of multiple suspects believed to have started the fires. The incidents are believed to be connected.
On May 27, at approximately 2:30 p.m., a fire was reported at the Walmart at 101 East I-85 Service Road. A White male suspect wearing a blue shirt, mask, gloves, hat and backpack used lighter fluid to start fires in the store. The FBI Mobile Twitter page shared photos snapped from security camera footage of three suspects from this location: the man previously mentioned; a White woman dressed in a facemask, black hat, hoodie, pants and sneakers; and a White man in an orange shirt, black baseball cap, sunglasses and facemask.
The next day, at 3:38 p.m., another fire was reported at the Walmart on Rangeline Road. Investigators believe multiple suspects were involved and an accelerant was used to start the fire. The photos of two suspects have also been shared by the FBI Mobile Twitter page: a White man in a gray shirt with gloves, hat and facemask, as well as a White woman in a black hoodie, gloves, maroon baseball cap and facemask.
The Rangeline Road location has since remained closed. It will reopen Friday, June 11, at 6 a.m. It was the only store of the four to close for repairs after the fire.
Shortly after, the investigation began involving multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Gulf Coast Technology Center and Global Security, which is associated with Walmart.
“We’re still trying to identify suspects and review the information that was provided to us and gather as much information as we can to identify these suspects and locate them,” Mobile Fire-Rescue Department spokesperson Steven Millhouse said.
On June 4, at around 1:30 p.m., another fire was reported at a Walmart in Gulfport. The photos of two additional suspects who were accused of intentionally starting the fires, both wearing baseball caps, facemasks and long-sleeved shirts, were released on the FBI Mobile Twitter page.
Later that night, at around 9:31 p.m., another fire was reported at a Walmart in Biloxi. According to the Biloxi Police Department, witnesses say a White woman set fire to a box of copy paper before fleeing the store and entering an unknown vehicle. The small fire was extinguished quickly by employees.
The woman appeared to be accompanied by a White man. Both were wearing baseball caps and dark clothing.
Anyone who has any information regarding these suspects can call the FBI Mobile office at 251-438-3674.
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