WOODSTOCK, Ill. (STMW) — Two teenage boys have been charged with a series of five arsons in northwestern McHenry County that caused about $1 million damage to hay barns in rural areas.
Joseph Gerdes, 17, of the 800 block of Coventry Lane in Crystal Lake; and Andrew Wiegand, 17, of the 1400 block of Bridgedale Road in Crystal Lake, were charged with one count each of arson, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to property, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office linked the boys to the five arsons in McHenry County, and they are also being investigated for other blazes set in Kane and Boone counties.
The fires the boys have been charged with happened June 29 in the 13900 block of Harmony Road in Marengo; July 10 in the 13900 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Woodstock; July 3 in the 11800 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Lakewood; July 23 in the 22500 block of River Road in Marengo; 9:20 p.m. July 24 in the 9800 block of Lucas Road in Crystal Lake. All were between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.
An anonymous tip helped identify the suspects, who admitted their involvement with the fires and multiple other criminal acts within Crystal Lake during interrogation Friday, police said.
Crystal Lake police said the boys were allegedly responsible for setting June 12 fires to a couch left out for trash removal in the 1300 block of Loch Lomond Drive and a mattress set on fire left on the parkway in the 1400 block of Candlewood Drive.
Crystal Lake police also allegedly linked the boys to five separate acts of tampering with a fire hydrant on Beford and Sutherland drives on June 26.
Charges are pending in the Crystal Lake incidents, police said.
The blazes caused a total of about $1 million in damage, sheriff’s police said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)