Crime & Courts

Fire investigators seek new information on unsolved Taco Shop arson

More than three years have now passed since someone set fire to the Taco Shop near Central and West Street, and fire investigators still haven’t figured out who did it.

The fire was reported shortly before midnight on Feb. 26, 2009, and closed the popular eatery for five months, Capt. Stuart Bevis said.

Despite a “pretty extensive investigation” that included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, officials have no suspects.

“We talked to dozens of people,” Bevis said. “We’re sure we talked to people with knowledge that, at that point, they weren’t comfortable sharing with us.”

Now that some time has passed, he said, investigators are hoping people who know more will be more willing to share it.

The fire caused nearly $300,000 in damage, Bevis said.

“Talking to the business owner, that was one of his most productive sites, so who knows what it really cost him....and the city of Wichita” in uncollected sales taxes, Bevis said.

Anyone having information on the arson case should call the fire investigation unit at 316-337-9146 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Bevis said there’s no indication whoever set the Taco Shop on fire is responsible for other arsons around the city.

Investigators aren’t likely to discover the motive until the person responsible is caught, he said. It could be something as simple as someone who wasn’t happy with the food or service they received.