Shoplifters set fire at Fort Lauderdale Target as diversion

A fire that, officials said, was set by shoplifters at a Target store in Fort Lauderdale as a diversion has been put out, as police search for those responsible.

Fort Lauderdale Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the blaze at the large retailer, located at the Coral Ridge Mall at 3200 N. Federal Highway, off Oakland Park Boulevard, at around 9:15 p.m., Wednesday.

FLFR officials said the subjects set some clothes on fire in an attempt to distract employees so the thieves wouldn’t get caught stealing.

Investigators said multiple shoplifters fled the store with items.

An employee told 7News the store to be evacuated as smoke and flames filled the section where the fire was ignited.

The sprinkler system was set off, and an employee used an extinguisher to help put out the flames.

The employee who spoke with 7News said the fire burned for at least a half hour before it was extinguished.

No injuries were reported.

Police continue to investigate.

If you have any information on their whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.