Arson, Puppies and Las Vegas

It’s no surprise that we take arson so seriously. It is a thoroughly reprehensible crime that robs individuals of their property, their homes, and sometimes their lives. According to the FBI’s website, in 2011 the average dollar loss per arson victim was $13,196. I think we can all roundly agree that arson is no good. When puppies get involved, though – well that just makes us mad.

A recent article in the Washington Times tells the story of a rogue pet shop owner from Las Vegas who conspired with an arsonist to set fire to her store with 27 puppies inside in an apparent attempt at insurance fraud. However, insurance fraud aside, it’s still not clear why the 27 puppies had to be inside at the time of the arson. We might just have to chock that up to blind sociopathic cruelty.

Video surveillance footage captured the arson, showing shop owner Gloria Eun Hye Lee and her associate Kirk Bills carrying red gas cans into the pet store. After dousing the floor in gasoline and disposing of a few choice file folders, Bills is seen tossing a lit newspaper into the shop as the two escape.

Presumably, the cameras that captured the incident were Gloria Lee’s own security cameras. Not exactly the perfect crime.

Fortunately, firefighters suppressed the blaze in time to save all 27 puppies. Lee was quickly apprehended and placed on a $20,000 bond. Further investigation revealed the pet shop owner’s impressive résumé of criminal activity, which includes bank theft, forgery, and escape.

To reiterate, the puppies are safe now.