An 18-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly stole a lighter from a gas station and then began lighting mail on fire in residents’ mailboxes in Highland Park.
Colin F. Chase, 18, of Highland Park, was charged with one count of criminal damage to government-supported property.
The Highland Park Police Department responded early in the morning on August 27 to Casey’s, 1333 Half Day Road, for a report of a disturbance.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Manuel Mandujano said officers learned Chase had stolen a lighter from the convenience store.
The man was witnessed walking westbound on Half Day Road.
The witness, who was following in a vehicle, saw Chase lighting fire to mail in residents’ mailboxes on Shady Lane and Highmoor Road, Mandujano said.
Two mailboxes were damaged. One of the mailboxes had substantial fire coming from it, leaving the mail and mailbox destroyed.
The second mailbox had a piece of mail damaged.
Mandujano said Chase went back to the Casey’s store and stole another product before leaving on a bicycle.
Officers reviewed the surveillance video and then later located and arrested Chase.
Chase admitted to stealing the lighter and lighting the fires in the mailboxes, Mandujano said.
The man could not give a specific reason for lighting the fires except he “felt like it” and was bored, Mandujano added.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Chase held on a $35,000 bond.
Chase was released from the Lake County Jail after posting 10% of his bond.