Court records: Arson suspect claims she damaged shop for publicity



Posted on February 3, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 9:00 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--A woman, who is accused of trying to set her own coffee shop on fire, was in court Monday for arson and malicious mischief. On Monday, court records detailed what led to Jennifer Na’s arrest.

KREM 2 News originally interviewed Na when she claimed someone wrote “Go Back to China” in her parking lot and then tried to set her shop on fire. Authorities eventually arrested Na for the vandalism and fire.

Na told investigators she was a volunteer firefighter and had no intention of destroying the shop according to court records.

READ: Deputies: Owner sprayed "Go Back to China" at her own coffee shop

Records showed Na’s sister, the co-owner of the shop, told authorities her sister did it for publicity but said she did not buy her sister’s excuse.

“For someone to be so hateful to the point of trying to light my shop on fire and write that hateful message, that's the point where it crosses the line,” said Na in her original interview with KREM 2 News.  “We called crime check, we called the fire department, they all came out and did their little investigation.”

Na had originally said authorities had little to go on.
“We're just kind of waiting, they don't seem hopeful they'll find anything to take this further,” said Na.

Authorities did find something to take their case forward. Court documents showed that authorities grew suspicious of Na when they combed through the shop’s security video. Her own cameras caught her with a gas can.

Na eventually confessed to the crime according to authorities, but said she had no intention of destroying her business.

Records showed she told fire investigators, “I know that you probably know I was a volunteer firefighter and if I wanted to burn it down I would have.”

Na has been convicted of theft in her past and was arrested for stealing in December of 2013.