The three young boys are accused of setting a fire Monday outside Gerrity’s Supermarket in Lackawanna County.
Investigators said those boys will be charged with arson.
Police believe the three juveniles, ages 11 and 12, set fire to wood pallets behind Gerrity’s on North Keyser Avenue, causing some damage to the store.
They were caught when they returned to the store and allegedly stole some items.
Wednesday investigators said they will file charges against the boys for setting the fire.
Gerrity’s co-owner Joe Fasula said it is a relief to know who police believe are responsible for the arson.
“The good thing was it wasn’t anybody who had specific malice. They weren`t there trying to bring down Gerrity`s. It wasn’t somebody specifically trying to directly hurt Gerrity`s. It was just some kids who were irresponsible,” Fasula said.
Crews were called to the store Monday evening for reports of a fire in the rear of the building.
Fire investigators determined the three boys set fire to plastic milk cartons and wood pallets that were against the outside wall.
The fire damaged a cooler and other parts of the newly-renovated store.
Scranton police said there is surveillance video of the three juveniles at Gerrity’s just before the fire was set on Monday. On Tuesday, investigators said the three came back and were caught shoplifting. That`s when employees recognized them.
“We were able to identify the kids. We saw them go to the aisle with the matches. We saw them take the matches, so we knew they were most likely the people that had done it,” Fasula added.
Some Gerrity’s customers said it is concerning that boys so young are accused of such a serious crime.
“That`s terrible. I mean, to be honest with you, where are the parents? That`s terrible. I didn’t know that they were that young and that they came back,” said Chrissy Ofcharsky of Clarks Summit.
“I just think that`s terrible. The young generation, they have no respect for anything. Something has to be done,” said Judy Eavarone of Scranton.
Some hope the boys will take responsibility for the crimes.
“Kids have to pay for it or work it off, maybe work it off here at Gerrity`s. Something has to be done. There`s too many things going by the wayside for these young kids today,” said Bart Lapinskui of Scranton.
“I think the kids need to learn a valuable lesson about what they did,” Fasula said.
The three boys were released to their parents.
Investigators said arson and retail theft charged are expected to be filed Wednesday with the Lackawanna County district attorney’s office.
Joe Fasula estimates damage to the store and some products could total $20,000.