Police: Elgin Tower arsonist broke windows downtown

A homeless man who received probation after setting fire to an elevator at the iconic Elgin Tower building is in trouble again.

Tommy W. McBurney, 59, was arrested late Friday on felony charges he broke two windows of downtown Elgin businesses. He could be resentenced to up to seven years in prison if a judge determines McBurney violated his probation.

Elgin Deputy Police Chief Bill Wolf said McBurney was arrested on the 0-99 block of South State State on the felony criminal damage to property charge.

McBurney is accused of using rocks to break the windows of a hair salon and inn on the 100 block of West Chicago Street between 12:01 and 4:05 a.m. May 4, Wolf said.

No one was injured in the incident that caused an estimated $300 damage, Wolf said.

“There was surveillance video that assisted in the investigation,” Wolf said. “There were some witnesses that we interviewed as well.”

The felony criminal damage to property charges carry a sentence of anywhere from probation to three years in prison.

McBurney received two years probation after pleading guilty to setting fire to an elevator at the art deco building at 100 E. Chicago St., on May 11, 2014.

McBurney spent 94 days at the Kane County jail before his guilty plea, which also assessed him $1,015 in fines and court costs.

If McBurney violated his probation, he could be resentenced to up to seven years in prison.

He is next due in court May 21 and was being held on $25,750 bail, which means he must post $2,575 to be released while the charges are pending.

A Chicago developer wants to redevelop the 15-story building into 45 one- and two-bedroom apartments, but a lawsuit has been filed to stop it.

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  The Tower building in downtown Elgin. Rick West/
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