Suspect in Target Arson Arrested Wednesday
The man suspected of starting a fire inside of the Wenatchee Target last May is now in jail, just a day after Wenatchee police were able to identify a potential witness that ended up being critical to the investigation.
The fire was set in the store May 29th, destroying merchandise and causing a three week closure of the store.
Although Target provided security footage of the suspect, no one from the community had been able to identify the individual.
Wenatchee Police Captain Edgar Reinfeld said the investigation took a big turn when Target employees found an unknown potential witness on security footage speaking with the suspect just before the fire was started. An image of the witness was released on social media Tuesday and he was soon found.
Reinfeld said the witness identified the suspect as 22-year-old Anthony Torres of East Wenatchee.
Police then made contact with Torres outside of a day care in the 300 block of Roosevelt Street. Torres allegedly gave officers a false name and left on a bicycle.
Officers then followed Torres to the area around Columbia Station before losing him.
"More and more officers entered the area, including two officers from the Columbia River Drug Task Force driving undercover vehicles in plain clothes." Reinfeld said, "They picked him up again and saw him enter a building in the 300 block of South Wenatchee Avenue where we set up containment and then went in and arrested him."
Torres was booked into the Chelan County Jail on charges of 1st Degree Arson and 3rd Degree Theft.
A press release by the Wenatchee Police Department called the investigation "another excellent example of community members helping solve crimes in our region."