Metro-East News

Belleville man charged with trying to torch neighbors’ homes


Jared Speichinger
Jared Speichinger Belleville

A Belleville man faces charges of trying to set a neighbor’s house on fire.

Jared Speichinger, 40, of the 600 block of South Virginia Street, was charged Wednesday with residential arson, residential burglary, attempted residential arson, attempted residential burglary, and burglary — all felonies — and two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property and a misdemeanor count of resisting a police officer, according to Belleville Det. Sgt. Todd Keilbach.

Speichinger’s bail was set at $100,000.

On Tuesday, Belleville police and firefighters responded to the 600 block of South Pennsylvania Street about 9:30 a.m. after they received a call about a possible arson. Officers questioned neighbors while crime-scene technicians processed the scene.

A witness told police that he saw a man walking away from the area of the fire carrying a gas can. The witness told police that he walked outside and saw smoke coming from a neighbor’s enclosed back porch. No one was home at the time of the fire.

Officers also went to a second residence, where people were home, that had a strong scent of gasoline coming from the rear doorway and patio area. Another witness identified the same suspected entering a car that wasn’t his, according to a Belleville Police press release.

Keilbach said he did not have any information regarding motive.

Officers found Speichinger nearby and, after a brief struggle, he was taken into custody. No one was injured during the arrest.

Speichinger remained in custody Thursday morning.