Emily Stallard wasn’t about to stand in long Walmart check out lines, or fight with the self-checkout robots. She had no intention of paying for the items she grazed off the shelves. Why bother?
The items she added to her cart on Saturday were all the ingredients needed to build and detonate a potentially deadly bomb, right inside the store. “This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal,” warns Sheriff Chad Chronister. She also had her child with her.
According to a statement released Tuesday by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, they got a call from store security at the Walmart on East Fletcher Avenue in Tampa, Florida.
A security guard watched the woman “roaming the aisles of the store and opening unpaid items.” The part that really made him nervous, was that the things she gathered were “flammable materials, projectiles and matches.”
Security watched closely for over an hour as she “wandered aimlessly through the aisles.” She selected items like “nails, a Mason jar and denatured alcohol.” Everything you need for a powerful firebomb.
The quick thinking employee also “notified an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer who was in the store at the time.” They were just in time to stop the 37-year-old domestic terrorist as she was about to light the fuse, and restrain her until deputies showed up.
Chronister praised the store for being so observant. “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.”
Sheriff Chronister wishes the public were as watchful. “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.”
Because Stallard had a child with her, she’s being charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse, in addition to attempted arson of a structure, fire bombing, and battery on a law enforcement officer. They added that one because “Deputies said she spit on them while she was being arrested.”
Stallard appeared before a judge Monday and bond was set at $8,500.
Walmart responded with a statement to the local news outlet, News Channel 8. “We take the safety and security of our customers and associates seriously. We appreciate the quick response of local law enforcement and are assisting them as they investigate the matter.”