On Wednesday, an arrest was made in connection with the arson of a grocery store, involving a man who had been previously banned from the premises.
34-year-old Trent Carter from Baton Rouge faces charges of simple arson, terrorizing, and unlawful entry into a business place.
An inquiry was initiated following a suspected case of arson at the Shoppers Value Warehouse located on Airline Highway. The fire reportedly started in the early hours of Tuesday, July 25.
Firefighting personnel reported a broken front window of the store and a burning stack of paper towel pallets close to the shattered window. According to a sworn statement, the store’s proprietors suspected a “disgruntled former employee” was behind the arson attack.
The blaze inflicted $50,000 worth of damages to the store. The investigation unearthed text messages from Carter expressing dissatisfaction about his treatment at the store. One message, sent on the day of the fire, contained Carter’s demand for the dismissal of two employees and the promotion of another to the role of store manager. The message concluded with a chilling threat, “or u will lose a store a week by fire.”
Court papers revealed that Carter had been barred from the store since Thursday, July 13. On the morning of the fire, a store manager reported seeing Carter loitering in front of the store. This manager also informed investigators of a customer’s report that Carter had threatened to kill him.
Carter was subsequently detained and is currently being held at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.