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July 31, 2016

S.J. man arrested for setting restaurant on fire to destroy fraudulent prescriptions

A man who started a fire inside a South Jersey restaurant to burn fraudulent prescriptions was apprehended on Saturday, according to police.

The Medford Township Police Department announced Sunday that Craig Muehleisen Jr., 27, of Ewing, was charged with aggravated arson, conspiracy to obtain controlled dangerous substances by fraud, receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence, uttering a forged document, obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud and possession of controlled dangerous substances.

On July 20, authorities say Muehleisen and three other people went to a CVS located on Route 70 with stolen and forged prescriptions. During the attempt to acquire narcotics, Muehleisen fled the pharmacy and entered a nearby restaurant, Tarantella Ristorante. Once inside, Muehleisen ignited a fire in the bathroom to destroy the remaining prescriptions.

No one was injured in the fire, police said.

Muehleisen's accomplices, 24-year-old Shamika Laws, 61-year-old Sandra McRae and 34-year-old Tarrik Boles, all of Trenton, were arrested and charged later that day with drug offenses. Laws and McRae were later released, while Boles was turned over to law enforcement in Mercer County for an outstanding warrant.

Police asked the public for assistance on Friday locating Muehleisen before arresting him a day later.

Muehleisen's bail was set at $120,000.