The boy’s 13-year-old cousin has also been charged in connection with the December 31 blaze.
According to investigators, the boy stole a lighter while inside the Columbia store and, with his cousin, used it to set a fire in the Walmart’s greeting card aisle. The ensuing blaze caused significant damage to the store, though no injuries were reported.
In an effort to identify suspects in the arson, police Thursday released Walmart surveillance images, including a photo (seen at right) showing the boy and girl entering the store on New Year’s Eve.
On Friday, the parents of the respective suspects turned the minors in to police. Each child was charged with third degree arson, a felony. The boy was also charged with shoplifting the lighter. The children were subsequently released into their parents’s custody.
The fire forced Walmart to close temporarily for repairs, but the store has since reopened.