WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Authorities arrested two people and are still searching for another after a fire was started in a Waveland store.
Officers responded to Lowe’s Home Improvement on Highway 603 Tuesday afternoon to a call of a customer setting a fire inside the store.
Store associates told officers that two men were acting suspicious, and when associates approached them, they quickly left the area. The associates then noticed a small fire on the shelf located where the men were standing. One followed the suspects while another put out the fire.
Police said the men, later identified as 59-year-old Ersan Ferit Yurttas and his son 33-year-old Erick Yurttas, quickly left the store and entered a vehicle driven by a woman later identified as 30-year-old Amanda Monica of Pass Christian.
Officers observed damaged products along with different flammable liquids used to start the fire. There was also a shopping cart with $1,342 worth of merchandise that police believe the men were attempting to shoplift. Police said it was determined that the men were starting the fire in an attempt to distract Lowe’s associates so they could shoplift the merchandise.
Officers watched video surveillance of the incident and got the tag information from the suspect vehicle. Police said the same vehicle was involved in a shoplifting in Bay St. Louis several minutes after the Lowe’s incident.
Harrison County sheriff’s deputies went to the address listed on the tag information in Pass Christian, where they arrested Monica and Ersan Yurttas.
Ersan Yurttas was charged with second-degree arson and felony shoplifting. Monica was charged with accessory after the fact. They were both taken to Hancock County jail.
Police are still looking for Eric Yurttas. If anyone has information in regards to the whereabouts of this subject please contact the Waveland Police Department at 228-467-3669 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.