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Man set his car on fire in Beach Park because he was upset it ran out of gas, police say

Leonard H. Peters, Jr., 21, of Waukegan.

A Waukegan man has been charged after police say he set his car on fire in Beach Park on Saturday because he was upset that it had just ran out of gas and that it would frequently broke down.

Leonard H. Peters, Jr., 21, of the 2100 block of Williamsburg Drive in Waukegan, was charged with one count of arson, a Class 2 felony.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Winthrop Harbor Fire Department were called at 10 p.m. Saturday to Kenosha Road and Green Bay Road in Beach Park for a report of a vehicle fire.

Police found a 2018 Kia Optima on Kenosha Road fully engulfed in flames. Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said that deputies found the fire to be suspicious after they located a melted plastic fuel container near the vehicle.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and police spoke to Peters, who was the owner of the vehicle. Covelli said that the man initially told police he believed his vehicle must have been stolen while he was attending a house-party in North Chicago. He said he had no knowledge of it being on fire.

Detectives conducted further investigation and were able to determine Peters intentionally started his own car on fire, Covelli said. Peters told police he was angered the car would frequently break down and he became upset when it ran out of gas while he was driving on Kenosha Road.

Peters remains held in the Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court next on June 5.


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