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Man charged with setting fire to Southwest Side Walgreens amid last year’s unrest

Jose Valdovinos is charged in a one-page indictment with setting fire to the building in the 4000 block of West 59th Street on June 1, 2020.

A Chicago police vehicle sits in front of a boarded up Walgreens at 8628 South Cottage Grove Ave. on June 1, 2020, after a string of looting that occurred throughout the city amid protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A federal grand jury has charged a man for his alleged role in the burning of a Southwest Side Walgreens amid the rioting and looting last spring.

Jose Valdovinos is charged in a one-page indictment with setting fire to the building in the 4000 block of West 59th Street on June 1, 2020. The bare-bones indictment contains no further detail.

However, a Walgreens spokeswoman told the Chicago Sun-Times last fall the store had been gutted by a suspected arson fire following a looting incident there. She said the store would have to be completely rebuilt.

The pharmacy chain said it planned to spend $35 million to reopen Chicago stores hit by looting and vandalism after 70 of its 118 city locations sustained damage amid last year’s unrest.

The ATF and Chicago police released video last year of men caught on video inside the 59th Street store, hoping members of the public would help track them down.

In the video, the men appear to enter through the back of the building. They then proceed to wander into the store and gather merchandise.

Joseph Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney John Lausch’s office, identified Valdovinos as the individual wearing a black hat backward in the video. That person can be seen pushing a hand truck within the store and moving behind the prescription counter with a white bag.

Screenshot of a video released last year by ATF and the Chicago Police Department of men inside the Walgreens store. The U.S. Attorney’s office identified this man as Jose Valdovinos.
ATF y el Departamento de Policía de Chicago

Contributing: David Roeder