A shoplifter in Lake Geneva is headed to prison for two years after admitting that he set fire to the vehicle of a Walmart employee who turned him in to police.
Jeremy A. Saavedra, 32, of Bloomfield, struck a plea deal with prosecutors in Walworth County involving an incident that occurred March 23 at the Walmart store at 201 Edwards Boulevard.
Saavedra pleaded guilty to felony counts of arson and damaging or threatening a witness’ property. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop another felony charge of intimidating a witness.
Circuit Judge Phillip Koss approved the plea deal Aug. 10 and sentenced Saavedra to two years in prison, along with another two years of probation. He also must pay restitution of $4,633.
Prosecutors alleged that Saavedra stole a shopping cart full of merchandise March 21 from the Lake Geneva Walmart. After a store employee called police and helped to identify Saavedra as the suspect, the employee’s car was found on fire two days later in the store parking lot.
Security camera footage showed Saavedra walking to the employee’s car with a red gas can, then running away after the fire started.
In the plea deal, the defendant also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of retail theft, disorderly conduct and bail jumping.