U of I Police: 2 arrests in relation to burglary and identity theft

Local News

Photo courtesy: Facebook page of University of Illinois Police

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois Police arrested two people in relation to burglary and identity theft over the Halloween weekend.

Police said the first arrest on Saturday brought closure to a series of burglaries to cars parked near State Farm Center spanning the last three years. On multiple occasions since 2018, U. of I. Police would receive reports of burglary immediately following a concert or athletic event near State Farm Center. In several of those cases, visitors reported that credit or debit cards were stolen from their cars and then later used without permission. The total value of the stolen property was well into thousands of dollars.

On Saturday, while the Fighting Illini football game was taking place at Memorial Stadium, a university police detective saw a person entering multiple cars in the State Farm Center parking lot. When police officers approached, this person was seated in a car that did not belong to her with another person’s purse in her lap. Officers said they quickly arrested 39-year-old Felicia Jones of Indianapolis at around 12:35 p.m. for burglary to a motor vehicle, credit card fraud and identity theft.

In a separate and unrelated case, police used a bicycle equipped with anti-theft technology to catch a man who was in possession of multiple articles of stolen property.

Police said on Sunday, they received a notification that this bicycle had been stolen from the Coordinated Science Laboratory on Main Street. They located the bicycle and its rider, 44-year-old Jeremy Hartman of Urbana, leaving the area. Police said Hartman was in possession of several electronic items and tools, like wire cutters and wrenches, suspected to have been used in other thefts and burglaries. They arrested Hartman at around 5:44 p.m. on Sunday near Goodwin Avenue and Main Street for theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen property.

While police were processing this arrest, they were approached by a man who said his backpack and mobile phone had just been stolen, and the phone was tracked to that location. The man recognized his backpack as one of the items police had seized from Hartman. Additionally, police said they found more than a dozen credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and other financial documents belonging to at least four different individuals.

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