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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Kansas

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tom Beall
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jim Cross

Kansas City, Kan., Woman Charged Setting Fires as Diversion for Shoplifting

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas City, Kan., woman was charged in federal court Wednesday with setting fires as diversions while she was shoplifting at three separate grocery stores, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
Tahmekah D. Henson, 40, Kansas City, Kan., is charged with three counts of arson. The fires are alleged to have been set at the following locations.
  • Save A Lot, 2815 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 5, 2016.
  • Save A Lot, 2102 Metropolitan, Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 5, 2016.
  • Happy Foods, 5420 Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 5, 2016.
Documents filed in the case allege Henson set fires in store aisles so she could leave the stores with shoplifted meats during the confusion. In each case there were customers and employees in the stores.
If convicted, she faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.
Kansas City Field Division