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On Thursday, 02/27/2014, Gurnee detectives concluded a two-week criminal defacement investigation with the arrest of a suspect. The suspect was believed to be involved in a series of criminal defacement incidents at 10 religious institutions in Gurnee as well as several in neighboring communities. Gurnee detectives worked with Waukegan, Libertyville and Lake County Sheriff’s detectives to identify the suspect. The suspect was questioned and cooperated fully.

Arrested was Meghan Heinze, 22 years of age, Gurnee and charged with 10 counts of institutional vandalism, a class 2 felony, 10 counts of criminal defacement, a class 3 felony and 2 counts of criminal damage to property, a class 3 felony.

On February 14th, Gurnee Police took the first of a series of 10 reports of vandalism occurring to religious facilities during the overnight hours. Surveillance videos captured the suspect committing some of the offenses and leaving the scene in a light colored SUV. Photographs of the suspect and vehicle were released to the public in an attempt to identify the subject. The last incident occurring in Gurnee was reported February 21st. During this same time period several incidents occurred in other communities.

On February 27th, Gurnee officers attending traffic court saw a subject matching the description and identified her to detectives. Heinze was questioned at her home and taken into custody without incident.

Detectives from the other involved communities questioned Heinze at the Gurnee Police Department seeking additional charges.

Heinze appeared in bond court and was remanded to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on a $500,000 bond.

Note: All persons charged with a crime are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


In the spirit of the approaching Lenten season, I would pray that Meghan is repentant of her acts of vandalism and that we, people of faith, find it in our hearts to forgive her, hoping that she gets the help she apparently needs.