Edmonds woman accused of setting own store on fire to collect insurance money

Edmonds woman accused of setting own store on fire to collect insurance money

EDMONDS, Wash. — An Edmonds business owner was arrested Thursday, accused of setting her business on Highway 99 on fire to collect insurance money.

Connie L. Bigelow, 52, is charged with arson and wire fraud for the April 30, 2018, fire at her business, CJN Miniatures.

Bigelow moved her business into the building at 23030 Highway 99 in Edmonds in Sept. 2017.  The store sold miniatures, collectibles and consigned items, and rented space to other vendors.

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According to the indictment, Bigelow bounced checks and fell behind on rent payments and payments to consignors between Oct. 2017 and April 2018.

Bigelow, who had an insurance policy covering up to $100,000 for loss of business property and income, set a fire underneath three Thomas Kinkade paintings worth thousands, the indictment says.

She then filed an insurance claim for the losses in early May and used email to communicate with an insurance agent. She also lied to police and insurance representatives about the fire, court documents say.

Bigelow then reopened the business as Miniatures & More on Fifth Avenue in Edmonds.

The penalty for arson is a minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison.  Wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Snohomish County Fire Marshal's Office.

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