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Woman caught setting fire to Salt Lake coffee shop, police say

Published: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 2:39 p.m. MDT

Police arrested a woman they reportedly caught setting fire to a Salt Lake coffee shop early Monday.

August Miller, Deseret News archives

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police arrested a woman they reportedly caught setting fire to a Salt Lake coffee shop early Monday.

Officers were on patrol when they saw a woman in front of Beans and Brews Coffee House, 906 S. 500 East, about 3 a.m.

"The person was acting strange and lit some papers on fire that had been stuffed around the front doorway entrance," Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking said.

Officers quickly put out the fire and after a brief struggle arrested Rina Bowen, 47, for investigation of arson and resisting arrest.

Police were unsure of Bowen's motive for allegedly setting the fire, but "some mental health issues" may have contributed, Wilking said.

The fire could have engulfed the entire building had officers not been at the right place at the right time, he said.

"We could have had a bigger fire, a much more significant incident," Wilking said.

A search of court records indicates Bowen has a lengthy criminal history, having pleaded guilty to several charges since 1998, including child abuse or neglect, attempting to acquire a controlled substance by prescription alteration, theft, interference with an arresting officer and criminal trespassing.

— Morgan Jacobsen

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