SEATAC — A Des Moines man has been accused of taking a military member’s luggage, setting the luggage on fire and destroying a 9/11 memorial at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
KING-TV reports the suspect stole luggage that was left unattended Jan. 30, according to court documents.
Officers retraced the suspect’s steps through surveillance cameras, which led them to a stairwell in the airport’s parking garage. When they came to the sixth floor of the stairwell, officers noticed heavy black smoke and could clearly see flames from what appeared to be a fully engulfed fire on the seventh floor, according to court documents.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire.
“The fire caused extensive damage to the stairwell and surrounding areas and a nearby 9/11 memorial was destroyed. It is fortunately (sic) that vehicles did not catch fire as well as that could have caused explosions and a threat to the airport,” court documents said.
Police used security cameras to continue tracking the suspect and arrested him inside the airport.
The suspect allegedly admitted to police that he entered the airport to seal luggage bags and set them on fire.
All of the victim’s luggage was destroyed.
The man has been charged with second-degree arson, burglary and theft, and first-degree malicious mischief.