Tukwila, Washington firefighter, Philip Scott Lyons found out the hard way that supermarket loyalty cards can come with a huge price. Lyons was arrested last August and charged with attempted arson. Police alleged at the time that Lyons tried to set fire to his own house while his wife and children were inside. According to the KOMO-TV and the Seattle Times, a major piece of evidence used against Lyons in his arrest was the record of his supermarket purchases that he made with his Safeway Club Card. Police investigators had discovered that his Club Card was used to buy fire starters of the same type used in the arson attempt.
Fortunately for Mr. Lyons the charges were dropped last month.
The charge was dropped after "another person accepted responsibility for the fire," deputy prosecutor Jim Townsend said. He dismissed the case because someone else claimed responsibility, he said. He declined to identify the person who came forward, and would not say if it was a man or a woman.
Safeway shopper card leads to arson arrest [ComputerBytesMan.com, Jan. 28, 2005]
Arson charges dropped against firefighter [Heraldnet.com, Jan. 28, 2005]
Tukwila Firefighter Cleared Of Arson Charges [komotv.com, Jan. 28, 2005]
Fireman attempted to set fire to house, charges say [seattletimes.com, Oct. 7, 2004]
Firefighter Arrested For Attempted Arson [komotv.com, Aug. 28, 2005]