(File photo)

Surrey man charged in Walmart fire and grocery store robbery

Police say Richard Read charged in two separate incidents that happened minutes apart on April 20th

  • Jan. 19, 2018 12:00 a.m.

SURREY — Police say a Surrey man has been charged with arson after a fire in a north Surrey Walmart last April.

Surrey resident Richard Read, 34, faces one count of arson. He is also charged with one count of robbery in connection to a separate incident that happened minutes later just a few blocks away.

Surrey RCMP say Read, who is known to police, allegedly started a fire on the second floor of the Walmart at Central City Shopping Centre on April 20 at 11 p.m.

No injuries were reported, police say, and there were few people inside the store at the time.

About 10 minutes later, Read is alleged to have caused more trouble at a nearby grocery store, in the 10300-block of King George Boulveard.

Police say store staff approached Read, believing he was stealing. When confronted, Read allegedly pulled a gun before taking off.

“These two offences are very serious and we’re thankful no one was injured during either incident,” said Corporal Scotty Schumann.

“The arson caused millions of dollars of damage and significant loss of revenue for the store.”

Read remains in custody.

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