DOUGLAS — A Georgia woman is in jail after authorities say she set fire to a Dollar General store she managed while customers were inside the store.
Kay Yvette Taylor was arrested and charged with 1 Count of Theft by Taking and 1 Count of Arson First Degree.
The charges stem from her alleged involvement in setting a fire that occurred Aug. 17 at a Dollar General store that she managed. Taylor currently sits in Coffee County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.
“The fire was set while customers were inside the store. This is why it was very important for us to catch this suspect as quickly as possible,” said Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “Anyone who is willing to put lives in jeopardy for personal gain is a danger to society and needs to be apprehended immediately. I would like to applaud the investigators in my office, along with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Coffee County Fire Department, for their hard work in bringing Ms. Taylor to justice.”
According to the fire commissioner’s office, the fire occurred at about 10:40 the morning of Aug. 17. The store is located at 1201 North Highway 221 in Douglas. Investigators say they discovered that two separate, unconnected fires were set inside the store. The outside of the building suffered moderate damage, but damages to the inside of the building were major.
According to fire safety officials, further investigation revealed that a $3,300 cash deposit was taken. Investigators say they believe the fires were set to distract from and cover up the theft.
It is estimated that the damages to the contents of the store are in excess of $300,000 and damages to the structure are in excess of $399,000.
Authorities are asking anyone who may have been present at this Dollar General the morning of Aug. 17 to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.
First Degree Arson is a felony punishable by a fine of no more than $50,000 or by a prison term between one and twenty years, or both.