CHAMPAIGN – Alert citizens are being credited for helping police catch a man who now is accused of burglary.
Raydrian Hoggard, 21, who listed an address in the 1700 block of Harrington Drive, Champaign, was arraigned and pleaded innocent Tuesday to a Class 1 felony charge of burglary.
Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales said in court Tuesday that witnesses called Champaign police to report they had seen a man crawling into a window in the 400 block of Daniel Burch Drive about 2:30 p.m. Monday.
When officers arrived a short time later, they saw a man, later identified as Hoggard, coming out the back door of the home, the prosecutor said. He had an iPod and accessories and some compact discs that had been stolen, according to Scales.
Hoggard admitted that he owed some money and was hoping to sell the items to pay his debt, the prosecutor said.
Hoggard is due to return to court for a pretrial hearing Jan. 16.
His bond was set at $3,500.
Champaign police Deputy Chief Troy Daniels said citizens often help police catch burglars and thieves breaking into cars and homes.
"No one knows their neighborhood and who belongs there better than the people who live there," Daniels said. "When they see someone who doesn't belong doing something they shouldn't do, we want the citizens to call us."
Champaign police crime analyst Gary Spear said residential burglaries are up this year throughout the city.
For all of 2005, there were 468 residential burglaries and attempts reported. Through Tuesday, there have been 554 residential burglaries and attempts reported this year. That's an increase of more than 18 percent, which may go up to nearly 20 percent by the time all the reports for 2006 are done, Spear said.
On the other hand, there have been fewer commercial and vehicle burglaries and attempts so far this year.
Last year, there were 340 commercial burglary cases, but there have been 251 through Tuesday. For 2005, there were 673 vehicle burglary cases, but 408 so far this year, Spear said.