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Police: Man started fire to earn trip back to jail

(INGALLS PARK) Police say a man broke a gas station window and lighted products on fire Saturday night in order to return to jail.

At 8:56 p.m. Will County sheriff’s deputies were called to Speedway, 436 S. Briggs St.

According to reports, they encountered Robert E. McReynolds, 62, coming out the front doors and using a walker.

“I want to go back to jail. It’s a nice night for a fire. It is cold,” McReynolds allegedly told the deputy before he was placed in handcuffs.

Witnesses told police they saw McReynolds light several bottles of Heet fuel injection cleaner ablaze on a shelf near the front window before he opened up a red book bag and took out a 3-foot-long brick. McReynolds allegedly threw the brick at the double-pane glass two times before it shattered. The clerk used a fire extinguisher on the fuel injector cleaner, while McReynolds came inside and started eating a banana he took from the counter, according to reports.

McReynolds allegedly waived his Miranda rights and told deputies he threw the brick and lighted the fire.

“I wanted to go back to jail and get my ... three square meals. Even though the breakfast is not so good,” McReynolds said, according to reports.

McReynolds, of 306 Peale St., received his wish and was returned to jail on charges of vandalism and reckless conduct where he is being held on $25,000 bond.

Records show McReynolds had been released from jail Dec. 5. He’d been held since Oct. 2 when he was arrested for shoplifting.

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