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Bills addressing arson, retail theft gets NC Senate support

"Prison Bars" by mikecogh is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

New arson crimes and higher penalties for current offenses related to setting buildings on fire have received overwhelming support in the state Senate. The measure approved Monday would create new felony crimes for setting fire to prisons and occupied commercial structures. Fire department job applicants also would be subject to criminal background checks and couldn't work for the agency if they had been convicted of felony arson. A separate bill approved unanimously Monday by the Senate attempts to crack down on large, organized thefts at stores. Different versions of these bills have been approved by the House.