THEFT SUSPECT COMMITS ARSON AT ATWATER TARGET, POLICE ASK HELP TO IDENTIFY SUSPECT

On August 7, 2018 at 909PM Atwater Police & Cal Fire were dispatched to the Super Target in the 1000 block of Commerce Ave on a report of a fire inside the store. Target Personnel & customers had already been evacuated by store staff when emergency crews arrived.

The interior of the Target was filled with a large amount of smoke. Cal Fire personnel extinguished the fire. No one was injured during this incident.

Target Loss Prevention Surveillance observed the suspect described as being a Hispanic Male Adult in his late 30’s to mid 40s wearing a grey striped tank top,and blue pants. The suspect had a shaved head and a large mustache. The male was seen pushing a shopping cart throughout the grocery area and filing it with merchandise.

At one point he goes out of view into the toilet paper aisle. A short time later he is seen leaving that isle without the cart and exiting the store. The fire is discovered shortly after.

The subject is seen leaving Target and is observed on surveillance video entering Walmart. The Atwater Police Department and Cal Fire Arson Investigators need the public’s assistance in identifying the male pictured. Anyone with information about this crime can call the Atwater Police Department at (209) 357-6396 or contact the Merced Area Crimestoppers at 1-855-725-2420, or go to mercedareacrimestoppers.org to send anonymous information via text or email.

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