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Man started fire at Walmart to distract from jewelry case robbery, police say

SAN ANTONIO – Investigators believe a fire at a Northside Walmart on Friday was intentionally set to distract from a smash-and-grab jewelry case robbery.

The San Antonio Police Department said Monday that surveillance video showed a man pouring lighter fluid on charcoal bags and igniting them, then running out of the Vance Jackson Road store with the rest of the crowd.

The man was seen on surveillance video reentering the store, smashing the glass of a jewelry case and stealing several jewelry items. 

Authorities described the suspect as a man between 40 and 50 years old with a shaved head, wearing khaki pants and a plaid shirt. 

The suspect made off with some items and is still at large.

The Walmart was closed after the fire, but Walmart officials said the following departments will reopen on Wednesday at 8 a.m.:

All grocery departments, including fresh produce, bakery, deli, frozen foods, meat, dairy and dry groceries

Walmart Vision Center

Walmart Money Center

Tenants along the front of the store including McDonalds, a bank, a nail salon and an optometrist.

The pharmacy has remained open on a limited basis despite the fire.