UPDATED Thursday 4:30 p.m.
RANTOUL — Four people have been charged with burglary for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars of electronics early Wednesday from a display case at the Rantoul Walmart.
Rantoul police Sgt. Marcus Beach said patrol officers were called to the store at 845 Broadmeadow Road at 6 a.m. after two men and a woman were seen prying open an Apple display case, grabbing several electronic items, and running from the store.
Beach said witnesses directed officers to the parking lot of the Days Inn motel, just northeast of the Walmart. Within minutes, officers stopped a car with two men and two women inside in the motel parking lot.
The occupants said they had stopped at the motel to get a room because they were tired and denied having been at the store.
Meantime, Beach said, another officer was at the Walmart reviewing surveillance video that showed the burglars going to the display case in the rear of the store and trying to get in it. When they couldn't, they went to the tool aisle and grabbed a crowbar.
"One of the males used a crowbar to pry the case, which results in the glass shattering," Beach said. "They grabbed what they could and took off running."
The other woman was in another part of the store with a shopping cart and walked out after the trio ran, he said.
The officer who reviewed the videotape went to the stopped car and identified three jackets and a hat in the back seat as looking like those worn by the suspects.
The police arrested Anthony Williams II, 20, and Quovante Walls, 19, both of the 100 block of Sterling Court in Savoy; Kaitlin Mettache, 19, of Dyer, Ind.; and Ann McKinney, 18, of Lynwood.
Beach said police searched the area and at another nearby motel found a crowbar, five Apple iPads, and a silver purse containing four iPod Touches and three iPod Nanos under a shrub. The stolen items were valued at $4,345, he said.
The four people arrested declined to talk to police. Beach said he obtained search warrants for their DNA to compare to evidence left on the crowbar and the purse.
Each was charged Thursday with a single count of burglary. If convicted they face penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.
Judge Brian McPheters set their next court appearances for March 6.