A customer walks in front of the Bi-Mart store before being turned back at the North 40th Avenue location in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. An early morning fire is believed to be connected to an attempted burglary. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Over the objections of prosecutors, a 32-year-old suspect in the arson and burglary of a Bi-Mart store where 27 guns were stolen was released without bail Thursday.

Prosecutors sought $50,000 bail, according to Yakima County deputy prosecutor Steve Jackson.

However, using an assessment system based on past criminal behavior, the severity of the crime and other factors, Superior Court Judge Gayle Harthcock released the man, but ordered he wear a monitoring device.

Police said surveillance footage from the burglarized Bi-Mart, located at 1207 N. 40th Ave., and two other local businesses linked the suspect to the Jan. 17 burglary and arson, which caused an estimated $1 million in damages. The store was able to reopen several days later. Two of the 27 guns stolen have been recovered, police said.

Police say they identified the suspect after sales receipts from several local businesses were found at the burglary scene. Using dates on the receipts, police pulled surveillance footage from those businesses and identified a man matching the description of one seen on video from Bi-Mart.

The man was arrested Wednesday in Wray’s Market in the 400 block of West Nob Hill Boulevard after an officer recognized him from the surveillance footage. He faces possible charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree arson, theft of firearms and unlawful possession of a firearm.

It’s believed at least one, possibly three, people were involved in the burglary and arson, but no other suspects have been identified, said police spokesman Mike Bastinelli.

An investigation is continuing, he said.


Every day Yakima Police officers respond to hundreds of calls, and here you can see details of the last 30 days of incidents.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of suspects the Yakima police believe to have been involved in the burglary and arson.

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