Authorities in rural Randolph County say a 34-year-old man set fire to his own home, burglarized a golf course and then called 911 to report a battery in a span of about four hours Tuesday morning.
Randolph County Sheriff Shannon Wolff said his department arrested Kenneth R. Miller Jr. on Shady Lane, outside of Steeleville, around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The state’s attorney’s office charged Miller with three felonies, including arson, burglary and aggravated fleeing.
The sheriff’s office said in a news release that deputies came across Miller after they went to investigate a suspicious fire early Tuesday morning at his home in the 1000 block of East Green Street in Percy. Steeleville police and firefighters also went to the fire shortly before 4:45 a.m. Police said they saw Miller in his vehicle as he drove past the fire scene. The sheriff’s office said police tried to stop Miller, but he allegedly fled.
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Less than one hour later, the sheriff’s office responded to a business alarm nearby at Pyramid Oaks Golf Course, where a cash register and other items were reported stolen. The burglary was reported around 5:45 a.m.
By 9 a.m., Wolff said, Miller had called 911 to report that someone had “beaten him up” in Jackson County. The 911 call led authorities to Miller’s location outside Steeleville, the sheriff said. The sheriff’s office said it recovered evidence of the earlier burglary reported at the golf course.
Miller’s arrest, the sheriff said, was connected to the house fire and burglary. Wolff said the motive was unclear.
Miller was charged Tuesday and remained in the county jail Wednesday with bail set at $75,000.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit helped in the investigation.