A South Bay woman was charged Friday in a federal grand jury indictment alleging she threw a Molotov cocktail inside a bank in Torrance after a dispute with the branch manager.
Gardena resident Teranee Millet, 34, is charged with one count each of attempted arson and unlawful possession of a destructive device, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Millet’s arraignment is expected in the coming weeks at Los Angeles federal court.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, on Sept. 20, 2021, Millet entered a Bank of America branch in Torrance. She spoke to the bank manager and demanded to be helped by another teller because she believed she had been waiting in line for too long, prosecutors allege.
Federal prosecutors allege that when the bank manager informed her that no other tellers were available and she would have to continue waiting, Millet used profane language and yelled, “I’m going to blow this bitch up!”
In response, the bank manager called 911 and informed law enforcement of Millet’s comments, court papers state.
A few minutes later, Millet returned to the bank branch and threw a Molotov cocktail into the bank, lighting a fire in the middle of the branch, according to court papers.
A bank customer attempted to put it out, and law enforcement officers responded within a few minutes, secured the scene and recovered the item that Millet allegedly threw on the floor of the bank to start the fire. On her way out of the bank’s parking lot and before law enforcement arrived, she allegedly threatened another customer and threw a glass bottle at the customer’s truck.
Law enforcement used bank surveillance photos to help identify Millet.
Millet was arrested in Fulton County, Georgia, on Dec. 2, 2021, after she allegedly led law enforcement on a chase in a stolen U-Haul van that ended with the van crashing, prosecutors said.
Law enforcement recovered from the van, among other items, a gym bag containing four packs of glass bottles with tissue paper inserted inside the bottles, a can of lighter fluid and a five-gallon can of gasoline, according to court documents. Millet sustained injuries in the crash and later received medical treatment.
If convicted as charged, Millet would face a sentence between five and 30 years’ imprisonment, prosecutors noted.