Police: Woman sets fire to drink machine at Piggly Wiggly

1009 Vending machine fire

NEW BERN - Police say a woman set fire to a soda machine at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, and the entire thing was caught on surveillance video.

Debra Johnson of New Bern was arrested Monday and now faces two felony charges.

Officers say the incident happened around 1:40 a.m. Saturday at the Piggly Wiggly store on Tatum Drive in New Bern. Crews were called about a fire in front of the building, and investigators determined that a drink machine was set on fire. 

Store surveillance footage shows a woman kicking the machine. She then lights the fire, grabs a drink from another vending machine and walks away. Minutes later, flames shoot out, melting all $35 worth of change and whatever else was left inside.

We were there during Johnson's first court appearance, where she told the judge she didn't need a lawyer.

"I'll represent myself 'cause I'm guilty," said Johnson." I don't need a lawyer to lie for me, cause I'mma (sic) tell you I done it."

Johnson waved her right to an attorney and refused to pay the $10,000 bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for next week.

Johnson has a long criminal history that dates back to 1989. This is her first time being charged with a felony.

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