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updated: 12/21/2011 5:17 PM

Gurnee woman gets probation for torching tow truck

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  • Susan Horsting of Gurnee pleads guilty to setting a tow truck on fire.

    Susan Horsting of Gurnee pleads guilty to setting a tow truck on fire.


A Gurnee woman was placed on probation for three years Wednesday after she admitted to setting fire to a tow truck.

Susan Horsting, 49, will also be required to successfully complete any mental health counseling programs her probation officer recommends for her.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ken LaRue said security cameras at an automotive service station in the 700 block of Belle Plaine Avenue in Gurnee showed someone placing a towel in the gas tank neck of the truck around 10:41 p.m. on Oct. 3.

The person started the towel on fire and left, but returned 80 minutes later and restarted the towel on fire after discovering the flame had gone out.

About $7,000 in damage was done to the truck, and Horsting agreed to pay that much in restitution as part of her plea agreement approved Wednesday.

After reviewing the video from the service station camera, Gurnee police compared it to a description they received of a woman acting suspiciously the next day near Spaulding School on the 200 block of Belle Plaine Avenue.

LaRue said police determined Horsting was the subject in both cases and went to the motel on Grandview Avenue where she was staying.

Horsting confessed to starting the truck on fire and was arrested.

Police said the garage owner did not know Horsting and said he had no idea why she chose to damage his vehicle.

She pleaded guilty to arson during a hearing before Associate Judge George Bridges and could have faced up to seven years in prison if convicted after a trial.

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