Update: 10:03 pm, 3/9/16, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN — A teenager could spend the next seven years in juvenile custody for trying to rob an elderly woman. He broke into her home twice in one year.
The crime has people trying to keep a closer eye on their neighbors. It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened here.
Neighbors say there have been break-ins before, but hearing it happened to an elderly woman is a little surprising. They say it might be enough for them to do something about it.
Natalia Westfaber’s home was broken into twice.
“I came home one day, door wide open, walk into the living room, everything was gone. Second time was a couple years ago. I was actually at home when it happened.”
Her son saw the would-be burglar and chased him off.
“I haven’t had any problems since then. I just make sure when I come home that everything’s locked up.”
Two was also the magic number for an 85-year old woman who lives just down the street. In January 2015, a teen broke through her glass patio door. He was convicted of criminal damage to property. He was on probation for that crime, when police say he did it again.
“That’s very surprising and kind of scary.”
In December, family says the teen broke through the same patio door, came in with what looked like a real gun and started demanding money. The woman told him she didn’t have any and managed to get a hold of police.
They found the teen hiding next door with an airsoft pellet gun. The family says a weight has been lifted off their shoulders knowing he’s been put away.
Neighbors say, for the most part, these incidents are far-and-few between.
“This street, Dobbins, is pretty quiet. You don’t see much happening.”
Virgil Carr lived there for about 15 years and says he never had a problem.
“When I first moved to the neighborhood, people told me it was a bad neighborhood, but it’s pretty much bad anywhere, the way I look at it.”
He says the neighborhood used to be very proactive about the neighborhood watch, but they haven’t met in a long time.
“I can’t tell you when the last time we had one.”
That’s something people say they’re now rethinking. The victim’s family says the knew who the teen was before the incidents. They say his family used to live nearby, but both break-ins happened after they moved away.
The 17-year old pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated robbery and criminal damage to property. While he was sentenced to seven years, the state’s attorney’s office says he can get out when he turns 21.
Original: 6:00 pm, 3/9/16, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN — An elderly woman was nearly robbed not once, but twice by a teenager. Wednesday, he was sentenced to juvenile prison.
The teen pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated robbery and criminal damage to property. The family of the woman says a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. They’ve been waiting for more than a year and say they’re glad to know he’s off the streets.
It all happened in the 1400-block of Dobbins Drive. The state’s attorney’s office says the 17-year old broke through the 85-year old’s back patio door in December.
He threatened her with an airsoft pellet gun and demanded money. She told him she didn’t have any and called her family who called 911.
Police found the teen hiding next door. At the time, he was on probation for pulling the same stunt less than a year earlier.
In January, 2015, he broke through the patio door and was convicted of criminal damage property. The neighborhood does have a crime watch group, but people say it’s been difficult to keep an eye on each other over the years.
The 17-year old was sentenced to seven years, but can get out when he turns 21. The state’s attorney’s office says part of the reason for the seven year sentence is the teen has a history in the system, and at one time, was part of four other similar cases.