Man robs Texas store, sets customer on fire

Surveillance image. (KLTV)
Surveillance image. (KLTV)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 6:08 PM CST
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A suspect was in custody Thursday evening after a man robbed a convenience store in Palestine at gunpoint, ordered the clerk and a customer to sit on the floor, bound them with duct tape, doused both with lighter fluid, and then set one of the two women on fire.

Robert Thompson, 40, was arrested at around 5 p.m. in Palestine on warrants charging aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated robbery.

His bonds total $4 million, KLTV in Tyler reported.

Officers responded to a report of the robbery at around 10 a.m. Thursday at the Pitt Stop at 1221 Link St. in Palestine.

Customer Della Witt-Denizeri was burned on the head, face and neck, KLTV reported.

The clerk was able to help the victim shed her burning shirt, authorities told KLTV.

Witt-Denizeri was taken to Palestine Regional Medical Center and was then transferred to the burn center at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Authorities said the robber pulled her into the store after forcing the clerk into a corner behind the counter.

The store’s owner said the robber had purchased the lighter fluid at the store earlier, and then returned to rob the business, KLTV reported.