Suspect arrested in Cueramaro Supermarket fire

Truth file photo Owners and staff clean up inside the Cueramaro Supermarket on 317. W. Lusher Ave. on Aug. 19 after the store was set ablaze 10 days earlier. Police arrested a suspect on Sunday.

ELKHART — A suspect has been arrested in relation to the Aug. 9 fire at Cueramaro Supermarket.

Surveillance video from outside the store showed a man moving cardboard to the back entrance of the store at 317. W. Lusher Ave. in the evening of Aug. 9. Shortly after he left the cardboard and store were ablaze.

Owners said after the fire that they were certain who the man in the video was, since he looked just like a homeless man that had asked for money earlier in the day. The owners had built a relationship with the man in previous months, they said, helping him with money and food and giving him cake on his birthday. When store employees told the man on Aug. 9 that only the owners could give him money, he allegedly threatened to burn down the store.

However, almost two weeks later, the owners were frustrated that the Elkhart Police Department had not made an arrest. Police said at the time that they were still investigating the case with the Fire Department.

On Sunday, Sept. 22, at 1:31 p.m., officers were able to locate and arrest 51-year-old Bruce Collins. Police would not say if this was the same man that was suspected by the store owners.

Collins was taken to the Elkhart County Jail and is charged with arson, a Level 4 felony.

According to Ezequiel Rodriguez, son of the Cueramaro Supermarket owners, the store is expected to reopen in early 2020.  

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter at @ReadRasmus

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