Woman who set Wal-Mart merchandise on fire sentenced

A woman initially arraigned on two felony charges in Anoka County District Court for setting merchandise in a Blaine Wal-Mart store on fire was sentenced July 10 on a gross misdemeanor level charge.

Anoka County District Court Judge Thomas Fitzpatrick sentenced Minneapolis resident Rachael Howard Robinson, 19, on an arson charge in the second degree. A separate first-degree felony arson charge was dismissed. Robinson pleaded guilty June 3.

Robinson was given credit for 102 days served in jail and was not ordered to serve any more time. She was placed on probation for 10 years.

According to the criminal complaint, Robinson was seen on surveillance footage setting fire to a rack of jeans and an area near bird feed bags at the Wal-Mart store on Ulysses Street, west of Highway 65, just after midnight March 31.

Robinson told police she started the fires so she and another man she was with could shoplift merchandise. The damage was at least $8,600, according to the complaint.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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