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CL Police Link Teens Accused in Barn Fires to Additional Crimes

Crystal Lake Police said Joseph Gerdes and Andrew Wiegand, both 17 of Crystal Lake, have been linked to additional crimes that occurred this summer on the city's south side.

 

The two Crystal Lake teens accused of setting five barn fires in McHenry County have been linked to crimes within the city of Crystal Lake, according to Crystal Lake Police.

Joseph Gerdes, 17, 868 Coventry Ln., and Andrew Wiegand, 17, 1472 Bridgedale Rd., both of Crystal Lake, were each arrested and charged as adults Friday with arson, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to property, according to a press release issued by McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.

The pair, both students at Crystal Lake South High School, allegedly admitted to sheriff authorities their involvement with five rural barn fires that occured in Crystal Lake, Marengo, Lakewood and Woodstock since May 29. One fire on Lucas Road was within the Crystal Lake city limits.

Combined, the fires caused more than $1 million in damage, Nygren said in a press release. The Sheriff Office investigation is ongoing.

Late Monday, Crystal Lake Police issued a statement saying the department was able to establish Gerdes and Wiegand also are responsible for setting fire to a couch set out for garbage removal in the 1300 block of Loch Lomond Drive. The street is located in a residential neighborhood southwest of Ackman and Randall roads.

The duo also has been linked to a mattress set on fire in the 1400 block of Candlewood Drive, one block over, Crystal Lake Police Commander Mike Brichetto said in a press release. Both fires occurred the evening of June 12, 2012.

Police also said Gerdes and Wiegand are linked to five separate acts of tampering with a fire hydrant on Bedford Drive and Sutherland Drive, located two blocks north of Crystal Lake South High School. The hydrants were opened during the evening on June 26.

"Crystal Lake Police will review these additional findings with the McHenry County State's Attorney Office regarding criminal charges," Brichetto said.  

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