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.