Scott County Prosecutor Paul Boyd has charged Mike Trevor Tatum, 17, of Sikeston with second degree burglary, second degree arson, two counts of misdemeanor stealing, felony property damage, misdemeanor disposing of stolen property and four counts of forgery.
Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden reported that the joint investigation by the Missouri State Fire Marshal's office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms into the fire at Glenn's Furniture was originally ruled as suspicious.
The blaze, which reportedly began around 3:20 a.m., destroyed the building and caused minor damage to buildings nearby.
During the investigation, a suspect was developed when it was found that several checks, apparently stolen from the business, were being cashed at several businesses in Scott County. After a person was identified as cashing the checks, DPS officers and an ATF agent arrested Tatum on Thursday.
Law enforcement officials interviewed the suspect, who admitted to being involved in burglarizing and burning the building. Information gained through the interview led to the recovery of additional stolen items from the business, which were found at the suspect's residence.
Tatum told investigators he was upset with the owner of Glenn's, who was also his landlord, over the condition of his apartment. In his statement, he told authorities that he had broken in to get rent money and when he couldn't find that money, he stole some other money and the checks. He set the fire so authorities would not be able to find any evidence that could connect him to the crime.
Tatum is being held at the Scott County Jail. Bond is set at $150,000.