Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

HARVEY, La. (WGNO) — Authorities in Jefferson Parish are searching for a man accused of setting fire to a department store on the West Bank on Christmas Eve.

According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the pictured suspect is accused of walking into the ROSS department store in the 1700 block of Manhattan Boulevard around 6:15 p.m. on December 24 and starting a fire.

The sheriff’s office says the man is seen on surveillance video wandering through the store for several minutes before eventually setting fire to merchandise with a lighter. Detectives say off camera, the suspect hid behind a pole and waited to see if the flames caught.

Watch the top center of the video above. Once the fire fully ignites, the suspect walks away and sparks his lighter at other pieces of merchandise along the way out. The flames were put out by a store customer using a fire extinguisher.

We’re told the suspect entered the store with a woman who is believed to have no prior knowledge of the suspect’s intentions.

The suspect is described as a Black male in his late teens or early 20s.

Anyone who knows who the pictured suspect is or has any information regarding the fire is urged to contact the JPSO Arson Section at 504-364-5300.

Tips can be submitted anonymously to Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans by calling (504) 821-1111 or toll-free at (877) 903-7867. To submit a tip online, click here. You could be eligible for a cash reward.

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