David Chang

Disgruntled Customer Torches Items in Philly Store, Police Say

The woman took out a can of hairspray from her pocketbook and ignited it with a lighter, police said

Police are searching for a woman who was caught on video torching items inside a Philadelphia store.

The unidentified woman was inside the Wyncote Beer Deli on the 2100 block of West 65th Avenue back on Nov. 20 shortly after 10:30 a.m.

The owner of the deli, Yang Lin, told NBC10 the woman wanted beer but didn't have any money. When he didn't give her the beer, Lin said the woman got angry and threw glass toward him.

"I said, 'You need to get out of here.' You know? She was more angry. She seen me go out so she wanted to fight me," Lin said.

The woman then took out a can of hairspray from her pocketbook and ignited it with a lighter, police said. Surveillance video shows her burning items on the front counter of the store.

Lin said he had to run from the counter to avoid being burned. The woman then left the store. No one was injured during the incident.

"Thankfully the fire didn't spread," Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said. "The building didn't burn down but it could have had catastrophic results."

Lin told NBC10 he had seen the woman in his store before but she wasn't a regular.

The suspect is described as a black female in her mid-30s to early-40s, standing 5-foot-5 with short, red hair and a thin to medium build. She was last seen wearing flower-designed gray pants with a white stripe down the outer leg, a black jacket, black boots and round earrings.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, please call the Arson Task Force at 215-446-7874. To submit a tip, call 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP or 773847.

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