Arrest made in HBT fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in HBT fire

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October 14, 2003

Tifton - A mother and daughter are arrested for torching a Tifton business. They're also accused of stealing money from HBT Hardware Supplies.

Fire swept through the hardware supply store July 9th, destroying the business. Investigators quickly determined it was arson.

Now, investigators say the company's bookkeeper and her daughter set the fire to cover up their thefts.  46 year-old Patricia Schwalls and her daughter 30 year-old Misty Ann Johnson were charged.

Schwalls is charged with first-degree arson and 31 counts of theft by taking. Johnson is charged with theft by taking and forgery charges. Schwalls worked as HBT's bookkeeper for 14 years.

First degree arson is a felony with a punishment of 20 years in prison.

Posted at 6:15PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com