(Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey man charged with arson, robbery in Walmart fire and grocery store robbery

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

SURREY — Police say arson and robbery charges have been approved after a fire in a north Surrey Walmart earlier this year.

Surrey RCMP say Richard Read is charged in two separate incidents on April 20th – a fire that caused extensive damage in Walmart and the robbery of a grocery store just blocks away.

Police say on that night, at about 11 p.m., Read is alleged to have started a fire on the second floor of the Walmart in the 10100 block of King George Boulevard. RCMP say only a few employees and customers were in the store and all were evacuated safely.

About 10 minutes later, police say Read is alleged to have been at a grocery store in the 10300 block of King George Boulevard. After staff approached him when they believed he was stealing things, police say Read produced a gun before taking off.

Surrey RCMP say Read, 34, is known to police. He is charged with one count of arson and one count of robbery and remains in custody.

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

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


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