The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) reported today on a Tampa woman who is facing charges after getting caught by store security attempting to build an explosive device in a Walmart store.
Just before 6 p.m. on January 11, deputies responded to the Walmart located at 2701 Fletcher Avenue in Tampa for a report of a customer trying to create and ignite a firebomb inside the store. A security guard with Walmart noticed the woman, 37-year-old Emily Stallard, roaming the aisles of the store and opening unpaid items. The items included flammable materials, projectiles and matches. The security guard immediately called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and also notified an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officer who was inside the store at the time. The off-duty officer and the security guard approached the woman and detained her until deputies arrived.
“This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal. Had it not been for an alert off-duty law enforcement officer and a watchful security staff at Walmart, she may have followed through with her plans to cause an explosion inside the store,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “I am proud of the quick response by the officer and security personnel who stepped in and the thorough job performed by my deputies to investigate this matter and make an arrest. I can’t stress enough: if you see something, say something. You don’t have to tackle a bad guy to be a hero. One phone call to law enforcement when you spot something or someone suspicious can ultimately save lives.”
A child was with Stallard at the time of the incident. Stallard was arrested on charges of Attempted Arson of a Structure, Fire Bombing, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Child Abuse and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.