6 years for arsonist linked to a string of fires in Logan Square

CHICAGO — A Wicker Park man has been sentenced to six years for setting fire to a Logan Square garage during an arson spree. Luis Ramirez, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of arson in exchange for the sentence from Judge Shelley Sutker-Dermer.

Luis Ramirez (inset) and the aftermath of the garage fire. | CPD; CWBChicago

Fire department and police personnel responded to a string of fires near the 2200 and 2300 blocks of North Rockwell and North Campbell late on October 4, 2020. The streets share an alley. No injuries were reported, but there was significant damage to a garage, and a vehicle parked inside was destroyed.

Surveillance video showed a man setting fire to a dumpster in an alley to start one of the fires. A second video clip showed the man wearing sunglasses as he walked away.

Detectives who reviewed local footage recognized the arsonist from another incident in the same area months earlier, prosecutors said.

In the previous incident, a man told police that someone he hired to do jobs tossed an “M-80 type device” into his front yard after the victim fired him and told him not to come back, according to prosecutors. No charges were ever filed, but police recognized Ramirez from a video of the M-80 case, prosecutors said.

When police located Ramirez, he was wearing the same sunglasses, shoes, and backpack as the arsonist, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors dropped four additional counts of arson in their plea deal with Ramirez, who has been convicted of burglary seven times since 1983.

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