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Vendors Dealing With Looters As Arsonist Appears in Court Again

Looting is yet another worry for vendors impacted by the Diamond Flea Market Fire. Thieves are swiping valuables from amongst the rubble. This as the accused arsonist appeared in court for the second time this week. 44News spoke with vendors who confronted the man who police say confessed to burning down the beloved business.

Posted: May 19, 2021 8:36 PM

With the pressure on from the city to demolish the wreckage, the rubble of what was once the Diamond Flea Market, is now a huge safety hazard and a dangerous gold mine for looters.

"It's also a liability issue,” said owner Barabara Staub. “We don't want someone hurt."

Stuab opened the Diamond Flea Market in 1984 -- the same year her daughter was born.

“So, it’s one of my children,” she said.

And nearly 40 years later, she watched it burn to the ground.

"I thought to myself, ‘I hope tomorrow when I wake up it will have just been a bad nightmare,’” she said.

For Daniel Barritt, this once giant Batman statue is just a portion of the $150,000 worth of valuables he lost.

“Toys, comic books,” he said. “Stuff I love.”

And like many vendors --

"It's hard because we lost everything,” he said. “But we want to start again."

25-year-old Christopher Liggett is charged with arson. Many of his victims, showing up for his Wednesday hearing.

"We want to look in his eyes and him look in our eyes and maybe we can make him understand that this is horrible,” Stuab said.

Anyone who wants to support the vendors who have lost so much can come to the Diamond Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, where they will be having a pop-up market sale.

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Just another day in paradise; afternoon highs again topped out in the mid to low 70s across the Tri-State under a mix of sun and clouds. If you have plans out and about this evening, make sure to grab a jacket before you head out - after seeing temperatures near 64° around dinnertime, the mercury will dip to 57° by 10 o'clock before falling all the way back down into the mid to upper 40s early Wednesday morning. Sure, tomorrow morning's lows of 47° will represent our mildest start to a day since this past Friday, but it's still going to make for a cool start to our midweek nonetheless. The combination of sunshine and southerly winds however, will help drive temperatures back into the low 70s by lunchtime - if you're planning on lunching outside Wednesday, make sure not to do so in the shade. Wind gusts near 15 mph at times during our lunch hour will make for a chilly brown bag lunch outdoors.
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