Two Crystal Lake Teens Arrested for Rural Barn Fires
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said Joseph Gerdes and Andrew Wiegand, both of Crystal Lake, have been arrested and charged with arson.
Two 17-year-old Crystal Lake boys have been arrested in connection with several fires in rural McHenry County.
Joseph Gerdes, 17, 868 Coventry, and Andrew Wiegand, 17, 1472 Bridgedale Rd., both of Crystal Lake, were arrested Friday, Aug. 10, according to a press release issued Monday by McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.
Gerdes and Wiegand each were charged as an adult with arson, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to property in regards to five fires.
Since May 29, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office has investigated six fires in rural Woodstock, Marengo and Harvard involving hay barns. In addition to the fires in McHenry County, there have been barn fires in Lakewood, and Kane and Boone Counties.
An anonymous tip from the public resulted in the identification of two suspects, the press release stated.
Following is a list of the fires the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office has linked to the Crystal Lake teens:
13900 Block of Harmony Rd., Marengo.
13900 Block of Pleasant Valley Rd., Woodstock.
11800 Block of Pleasant Valley, Rd., Lakewood.
22500 Block of River Rd., Marengo.
9800 Block of Lucas Rd., Crystal Lake.
Gerdes and Wiegand were interviewed on Friday, August 10, and allegedly admitted their involvement with the fires along with multiple criminal acts within the city of Crystal Lake, according to the press release.
The fires covered a span of over 60 days, and caused more than $1 million dollars in property damage, the sheriff said. The investigation is continuing and additional charges may be forthcoming.
Along with the Sheriff’s Office, the Crystal Lake Police Department, McHenry County Conservation Police, Huntley Police Department, Algonquin Police Department, Cary Police Department, Crystal Lake Fire, Woodstock Fire, Algonquin Fire, Marengo Fire, Huntley Fire, SEECOM, ATF, and the Illinois State Fire Marshall assisted in the investigation.