URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A Champaign teenager is accused of stealing someone’s car at gunpoint and leading officers on a chase last night, and this isn’t his first run-in with police.
Investigators say it started around 10:30 p.m. in Urbana on Orchard and Griggs. They told Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz the 14-year-old and another suspect held the car’s owner at gunpoint.
“He was ordered to leave his wallet in his car, to throw his phone in the grass, both individuals then got into the car and drove off,” said Rietz.
Neighbor Kate Soriano just happened to be walking her dog in the same area. “We were stopped by a cop car and they asked if we happened to see a red car speeding by.”
Champaign officers later found the car at Bradley and Hedge, but when they got there, the 14-year old drove off. He led police on a chase onto I-74 and eventually onto Busey. That’s where the suspect crashed the car into a sheriff’s patrol car and ran away. Eventually officers caught up to him in someone’s yard.
“It’s unfortunately not unusual at this time for young people to be involved in these offenses. It’s incredibly frustrating, very dangerous for citizens for the community for those young people as well, so we’re going to take these cases very seriously,” said Rietz.
Soriano says she will be more aware next time she’s out late. “I have my pepper spray now, and I think I’ll just hold onto it while I walk at night,” she said. “Now I think I’ll just have to be… keep my eye out for people around me.”
This 14-year-old was out on parole when he was arrested. That was for a felony theft charge for stealing a computer out of a car. Police are still looking for the other suspect.
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