STERLING – A Rock Falls man who police say was stealing gas when he inadvertently set a pickup ablaze Christmas Day was arrested Tuesday morning.
Nicholas J. Capes Sr., 37, is in Whiteside County Jail charged with with criminal damage to property, a felony, and theft and reckless conduct, both misdemeanors, Sterling police said.
A bond hearing will be held today.
Sterling police and fire departments responded shortly before 6 a.m. to the 600 block of West Ninth Street, where a red 1989 Ford F150 was fully engulfed.
The gas tank was pierced, and items at the scene led them to suspect arson, they said.