Police: Scottsdale business owner arrested for arson, criminal damage

James Richard Waller, 75 (Photo by Scottsdale Police Department)

The owner of High Desert Rugs and Home Furnishings was arrested by Scottsdale police on Sunday, April 14, on charges of arson and criminal damage for his involvement in an early morning fire.

James Richard Waller, 75, was arrested on charges of arson of an occupied structure and criminal damage at 8900 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, according to Scottsdale Police Department officials.

At 4:30 a.m. April 14, Scottsdale police and fire departments responded to the area in reference to a fire. The fire was quickly extinguished by Scottsdale Fire Department, and neighboring businesses’ fire sprinkler system.

In addition to the fire, related damage to a single business — High Desert Rugs and Furnishings — numerous adjacent businesses and vehicles had been defaced with spray paint, police say.

All of the damage appeared to be related, and the origin of the fire was suspicious, police say.

“During the ongoing investigation evidence was developed that indicated the owner of High Desert Rugs and Home Furnishings, James Richard Waller, was responsible for the spray paint damage as well as starting the fire inside his business,” Scottsdale PD Officer Kevin Watts said in a statement to media.

Waller was arrested and released pending felony charges through the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Watts said.

This is an ongoing investigation and there is currently no further information, police say.

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