A Florida woman was arrested after she allegedly made a homemade bomb inside a Walmart using a mason jar, nails and denatured alcohol.
Emily Stallard, 37, was taken into custody after the incident at the Walmart Supercenter in the 2700 block of Fletcher Avenue in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokesperson told Newsweek.
Deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office were called to the store just after 6 p.m. to reports of a woman trying to make a firebomb.
A security guard noticed Stallard had opened items she hadn’t paid for, including flammable material, projectiles, and matches.
WFLA reported that the guard told deputies that the woman’s behavior was “suspicious” and so he began watching her as she walked around. He also alerted an off-duty law enforcement officer who was in the store at the time.
According to WFLA, the two men were able to stop Stallard from lighting the wick of a candle that was inside a mason jar along with nails and denatured alcohol. Deputies told the station that Stallard spat on them as she was being arrested.
Online records from the sheriff’s office show Stallard, from Tampa, remains in custody with the bond set at $8,500.
She is charged with several offenses, including firebombing, attempted arson of a structure and battery on a law enforcement officer. She is also facing charges of child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
According to the arrest report, Stallard was with a child and had roamed the aisles of the store for more than an hour. Her boyfriend told WFLA that the child was Stallard’s son.
“This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal. Had it not been for an observant 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,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement to Newsweek.
“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.”
Walmart has been contacted for comment.
Stallard’s arrest cane after a man was arrested after allegedly trying to build a hoax bomb inside a Walmart in Texas last month.
A security guard at Walmart in Austin spotted the man holding a PVC pipe in a bathroom inside the store and said he had witnessed the man adding something to the pipe.
The store was evacuated “out of an abundance of caution,” but the incident was later determined to be a hoax, a Walmart spokesperson told Newsweek at the time.