Texas robber duct-tapes store clerk, sets bound customer on fire: police

Authorities in Texas on Thursday said they arrested a suspect wanted for a violent robbery earlier that included duct-taping a convenience store clerk and customer and then pouring lighter fluid on the customer and setting her on fire.

The suspect, identified by police as 40-year-old Robert Thompson, entered the convenience store with a handgun around 9:30 a.m., Chief Andy Harvey said. Surveillance footage shows the suspect asking the store clerk for something behind the counter then pushing her into a corner at gunpoint and duct-taping her, police said.

The suspect then walked to the front door where he pulled a customer into the store and duct-taped her near the store clerk, police said. A police official said the suspect doused both women with lighter fluid, then lit a match and set the customer on fire. The suspect then made off with a few hundred dollars, police said.

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The customer, who police identified as Della Witt-Denizeri, was transported to a Dallas hospital with burns on her head, face, and neck, authorities said. Her injuries were not life-threatening, KLTV reported.

Police arrested 40-year-old Robert Thompson on two warrants: one for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for aggravated robbery.

Police arrested 40-year-old Robert Thompson on two warrants: one for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for aggravated robbery. (Palestine Police Department)

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Police arrested Thompson around 5 p.m. at another gas station that afternoon and charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated robbery, KTRE reported. His bond was set at $4 million. The incident took place at JJ's Fast Stop in Palestine.