3 ARRESTED FOR ARSON AND BURGLARY
The Kewanee Police Department made three felony arrests in connection to arson and a rash of recent burglaries to local businesses. In the early morning hours of September 18th, 2018, the Kewanee Fire Department and the Kewanee Police Department were dispatched to 340 Fifth Avenue for a report of a house fire. While enroute to the house fire, patrol officers were alerted to a burglary in progress at JoJo’s Gas Station on North Main Street in Kewanee. Patrol Officers went to the area of JoJo’s and located a suspect fleeing the scene. Officers were able to capture the fleeing suspect and placed him under arrest.
The suspect was identified as John T. Sterling (19) of Kewanee, Illinois. A 16-year-old male juvenile and Shawna M. Jeanguenat (28) of Kewanee were also arrested for their roles in the burglary. Sterling and Jeanguenat were transported to the Henry County Jail. Sterling is being held on $150,000 bond. Jeanguenat is being held on $50,000 bond. The male juvenile was referred to juvenile probation and released to a guardian.
Detectives from the investigations division were called in to assist with the subsequent investigation. Detectives learned the residence of the house fire belonged to a family member of Sterling. It was later determined that the house was set on fire to cause a diversion during the burglary. As a result, all three suspects were additionally charged with arson. Detectives also were able to tie Sterling and the male juvenile to 7 additional burglaries that occurred over the last six weeks at Kewanee businesses. The businesses were identified as Patty’s Barber Shop, Center City, Northeast Park, Dairy Queen, the Red Apple, the Station House, Cernovich’s Scrap Yard, and JoJo’s Gas Station.
The formal charges for the 8 separate counts of burglary were filed with the Henry County State’s Attorney Office on Wednesday September 18th, 2018. Sterling was formally charged with 8 counts of burglary, 6 counts of theft, arson, possession of burglary tools, criminal damage to property, and resisting a peace officer. He was out on felony bond at the time of his arrest stemming from drug charges previously filed in connection to the burglary investigation. Those charges were filed on August 28th, 2018, and included manufacture or delivery of cannabis 30-500 grams, possession of cannabis 100-500 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia after police located approximately 410 grams of cannabis at his residence during a search warrant.
Jeanguenat was formally charged with burglary, arson, and theft. The male juvenile was charged with 8 counts of burglary, 8 counts of theft, and arson. The burglary and arson charges are a class 2 felony and carry a potential sentence of 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Sterling and Jeanguenat are both due in court for a preliminary hearing on October 1, 2018 at the Henry County Courthouse.