Another UI football player arrested in connection with dorm room theft

URBANA — Another University of Illinois football player has been arrested in connection with the theft of electronic items from a dormitory room on campus that occurred earlier this month.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Walter Aikens, 18, of Charlotte, N.C., was arrested by UI police Friday for possession of stolen property.

Rietz said Aikens is believed to have acted with another football player, Lendell Buckner, 19, in the theft of items from dorm rooms in Snyder and Forbes halls in Champaign on April 4 or 5.

Buckner was charged on April 16 with the more serious offense of residential burglary, alleging he entered a room intending to steal. A set of headphones and an iPod were among the items taken. At the time Buckner was charged, Rietz said there was a second unidentified man with him.

Rietz said UI police developed Aikens as a suspect and on Wednesday an undercover police officer arranged to buy a laptop computer from him. Aikens agreed to sell the computer, believed to be the one stolen from a room in Snyder Hall, to the officer.

Rietz said police later obtained a search warrant for Aikens’ residence and found the money used in the controlled buy. He was then arrested.

UI football coach Ron Zook has indefinitely suspended Aikens, a freshman defensive back, from the team.

Aikens appeared in court Saturday, where a judge set his bond at $3,000. He posted 10 percent and was released. He is due back in court Monday for formal charging.

Buckner was arraigned April 16. He remains free on bond and is due back in court on his residential burglary case June 8.

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Jsmith68 wrote on April 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Let us all put on our surprise faces that another of Zook's gangster recruits has committed a felony. That puts them at what now........8 or 10 in the past couple of years. Remember the other one's charged with residential burglary, and don't forget the linebacker carrying the gun at the Clark Bar. Maybe if we recruited character and not pure athletic talent, we would have a team that played hard. On a side note congrats to Mr. Benn for his NFL selection. Probably one of the few players Zook has ever recruited with TRUE character and leadership.

ctyboy58 wrote on April 24, 2010 at 5:04 pm

This just keeps getting better all the time. Next thing you know the mommas of these two thug losers are going to come forward shouting and screaming about what good boys they are and how unfairly they are being treated. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the Rev. Al Sharpton didn't show up and throw in his two cents. Geez, Mr. Zook, like a previous poster said, maybe it's time to take a look at the character of future recruits instead of just their ability on the field.

Keith Hays wrote on April 25, 2010 at 8:04 am

Well, City Boy, maybe Orly Taits or Andy Martin can show up and sue Mr. Zook claiming that he was not born in the United States. That makes as much sense as your remark that Rev. Sharpton might lead a march to support these two recruits for the Felony U football team. Or is it their real offense that they were members of a losing team?