Kids Accused of Setting Fires, Posting on Instagram

Plainfield police say a rash of recent fires in the suburb were fueled by juveniles on social media

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Plainfield police say a rash of recent fires in the suburb were fueled by juveniles on social media. NBC 5's Christian Farr reports.

    Plainfield police say a rash of recent fires in the suburb were fueled by juveniles bragging on social media.

    Over the past four weeks, police have investigated three incidents of large garbage receptacles and playground equipment set on fire.

    Police say it started on June 19 when a group of 12- and 13-year-olds set a dumpster on fire at Walker's Grove Elementary School and posted photos of the fires on Instagram. Two days later, they're accused of doing the same thing, although this time they were caught by police.

    But investigators say another group of kids the same age saw the photos on Instagram, and set fire to a playground at Lincoln Elementary School.

    "We believe the second group of kids got the idea to start the fire based on what happened with the first group, and then posted the pictures on social media," Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek said.

    "Parents really should be keeping track of what their children are putting on social media web sites."

    Several local parents, like Ken Kaniewski, are taking note.  

    "We keep a close eye on our daughters. We let them have it, but we have to have their password or be able to have access to it at all times," Kaniewski said.

    Several of the kids have been charged with property damage and could be facing arson charges. Police say more than $1,000 of damage was done.