Probation for setting Salvation Army donation boxes ablaze

Christopher Slattery | CPD

A man who allegedly set three Salvation Army donation boxes on fire on the Far North Side last December has pleaded guilty to arson in exchange for a two-year probation sentence, court records show.

Christopher Slattery, 35, set fire to the charity boxes at 2151 West Devon during the early morning hours of December 6, December 9, and December 23, 2019, prosecutors said.

A fugitive apprehension team that caught up with Slattery a couple of weeks later wrote in arrest paperwork that Slattery “matched a description of a subject who was setting fires in the 24th and 19th districts.”

Investigators initially explored the possibility that Slattery may have been involved in a series of arson fires that were set in Lincoln Park and Lakeview late last year, but he was never charged. Another man was subsequently arrested after another series of fires broke out in the same areas over the summer.

Charity donation boxes are set ablaze more often than you might expect. One such fire in Boystown was captured on video in October.

In December 2017, a man was found dead inside a charity donation bin after it caught fire on the 1500 block of West Wilson. The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled the death of 60-year-old Lloyd Brown to be accidental.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is