HAMMOND, LA — The State Fire Marshal’s Office released information today in reference to the intentionally set fire at a Hammond business, in an attempt to hide a credit card theft by an employee.
The Hammond Fire Department responded to a reported fire at the Albertson’s Super Market located at 1711 West Thomas Street on October 10, 2011. Firefighters discovered that a fire had occurred in the office at the area of the computer system for the business. The majority of the fire had been extinguished by employees using a portable fire extinguisher.
The Hammond Fire Prevention Bureau requested the response of the State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate what they had determined to be an arson fire. State Fire Marshal Deputies worked closely with the Hammond Fire Prevention Bureau and Hammond Police Department, they developed evidence that identified a suspect in this set fire. The Fire Marshal’s Office arrested store employee Jarmon Betts (dob. 4-27-92) for aggravated arson. In addition, the Hammond Police Department also charged him with unauthorized use of an access card. Investigators believe that this fire was set in an attempt to destroy electronic information stored in the computer system as it relates to credit card transactions of the business. There were no injuries in this fire and the damage is estimated to be $10,000.00. Mr. Betts was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.
State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning stated, “I commend the great work of all the agencies in determining the person responsible for this dangerous fire. We will not tolerate the use of fire to commit crimes in Louisiana”.