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Police: Mall worker set fire to hide theft

A 23-year-old Massapequa man was arrested Tuesday and charged with a June burglary at Westfield Sunrise Mall during which, police said, he locked himself in a bathroom at closing time, then set a fire in an attempt to hide his crime.

Denzel Jones, of 27 Oakley Ave., was arrested on Staten Island and charged with second-degree arson, third-degree burglary and first-degree reckless endangerment, Nassau County police said.

Police said that on June 30, Jones, employed as a stockperson at Forever 21 at the East Massapequa mall, "secreted himself in the stockroom bathroom" at closing time and then, once everyone left the store and the alarm had been set, took cash from the cash box and set fire to a rack of clothing. He then fled through a rear door, setting off a burglary alarm, police said.

The fire was extinguished by a sprinkler system, and no one was injured.

It was not immediately clear what led police to arrest Jones.

Jones faces arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.


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