Fashionista's scam backfires

SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

NEW YORK--A thief with a passion for hot fashion was nabbed by an alert security guard at a West 125th street H&M clothing store in late January, the New York Daily News reported.
The alleged thief, Savanna Johnson of Manhattan, had perfected a scam that involved creating a distraction by setting fire to a clothing rack, which would trigger fire alarms and sprinklers, and then slipping out of the store unnoticed with a duffle bag full of clothes.
The security guard saw Johnson in the store and recognized her from surveillance footage from an April 2005 store fire. Johnson had $105 worth of unpaid clothing, a lighter and a screwdriver when apprehended.
She is charged with second-degree arson, reckless endangerment, possession of stolen property and petty larceny in connection with the fire, which caused $60,000 in damage. She faces similar charges for theft and arson committed at a nearby Old Navy store.