Two Men Arrested Following Fire at US Steel Plant

Pedro Rodriguez-Castaneda (35, Joliet) was arrested,  processed, and released on a Notice to Appear for Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools,  Criminal Trespass to Real Property, and Criminal Damage to Property.  

Erick Mazariegos-Roldan (47, Joliet) was arrested, processed, and released on a Notice to  Appear for Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools, Criminal Trespass to Real Property, and  Criminal Damage to Property.  

On February 13, 2024, at 9:28 a.m., Officers on patrol observed smoke coming from the property of US Steel near the 900 block of Collins Street. Officers arrived onto the property and observed several small fires inside of the abandoned building. The Joliet Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. While inside of the building, Officers discovered what  appeared to be a large amount of stripped copper wire as well as a Jeep Compass missing a  driver’s side tire, a Polaris Sportsman ATV, and numerous tools, such as power saws, axe, and a  generator. No one was located inside the building. Both the Jeep Compass and the ATV were  towed from the scene. The owner of the ATV is still under investigation.  

As part of this investigation, Officers observed surveillance video from a nearby business that  depicted two males exiting the building carrying a vehicle tire. A short time later, the Joliet Police Department received a call from Rodriguez-Castaneda, who wished to report his Jeep Compass stolen from his residence in the 100 block of Cass Street. Officers noted that this was  the same Jeep Compass located inside the US Steel building. Officers responded to the Cass  Street address and spoke to Rodriguez-Castaneda and Mazariegos-Roldan and noticed that both  matched the descriptions of the males seen on surveillance footage. Officers noted that both  smelled of smoke. When Officers challenged the stolen vehicle claim, Rodriguez-Castaneda and Mazariegos-Roldan both indicated their involvement in committing the burglary and both were  placed into custody without incident.