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Local News

Police: Elwood man lit bag of chips on fire at Berkot's

Suspect torched potato chip bag for no reason

Kurtis E. Gniadek, 30, Elwood
Kurtis E. Gniadek, 30, Elwood

An Elwood man allegedly lit a bag of potato chips on fire at Berkot’s Super Foods, police said.

On Sunday, Kurtis E. Gniadek, 30, of the 100 block of Bushthorn Drive allegedly walked into Berkot’s Super Foods at 180 N. Front St. and set a bag of potato chips on fire, Braidwood Police Chief Nick Ficarello said.

Video evidence recovered from the store reportedly showed that Gniadek was the potato chip bag arsonist, Ficarello said. The video evidence also purportedly demonstrated suspicious activity from Gniadek that led the police to arrest him, he said.

Ficarello said Gniadek refused to talk with police without a lawyer present.

Braidwood Deputy Police Chief Steve Finlon said there was no apparent reason for Gniadek to set the bag of chips on fire.

“Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” Finlon said.

He said Berkot’s store staff did not contact the police or fire departments until the day after the incident.

Gniadek faces charges of criminal damage causing fire, criminal damage to property and arson.

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