Info sought on theft of items from UI Library

URBANA — University of Illinois police and Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking the public's help in solving the thefts of three items from a locked wall display in the tunnel that connects the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library and the Main Library.

According to a UI police report, library employees reported that someone had removed three advertisements from the wall display between May 1 and May 8.

The library has a contract with the Advertising Council to hold these items, all archival pieces from the United Negro College Fund collection.

The stolen items include:

— A United Negro College Fund transit ad cardboard featuring a man dressed as a doctor. The text includes the words, "The Person Who Could Save Your Life Tomorrow..." and "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

— A United Negro College Fund glossy photograph.

— A United Negro College Fund poster titled "Love: It Comes in All Colors."

Surveillance photos show a white man with dark shaggy hair. In one incident, the man was wearing a dark multicolored, short-sleeved button-up shirt, khaki shorts and sandals.

In a second incident, the man was wearing an American flag tank top, black and white athletic shorts and dark shoes. In both incidents, the man was carrying a backpack with dark shoulder straps.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers at 373-8477.

Tips can also be sent at http://www.373tips.com or by text by sending Tip397 plus the tip to CRIMES (274637).

The information you provide is confidential. You do not have to give your name or appear in court. Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information you provide leads to an arrest for this crime.

Cash rewards are also paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.

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serf wrote on May 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

c'mon Yokel, give me some outrage :)

jmh910 wrote on May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

The theft itself isn't funny, but... is it just me or does he look like Pauly Shore circa 1992? 


My guess is this is some kind of prank, but who knows.  I would think someone with serious intent to steal wouldn't wear something as conspicuous as an American flag tank top.

read the DI wrote on May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

It was Bronson Pinchot. Things must really be bad for him.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

If it happened the first week of May, and graduation was a week ago; he is long gone if he was a student.   Theft from the university in the tunnel between the libraries; sure makes a student the prime suspect.   Who is on campus now that would recognize him?   Show the picture in the campus bars late in the evenings.   Hand out photos at the Fourth of July Parade.   Be on the lookout for a patriotic thief.   Send a university mass e-mail with the picture to all of the students who were registered for the past semester.   Must have been an out-of-state student.   Raise the out-of-state tuition rate.      

Local Yocal wrote on May 22, 2012 at 6:05 am
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So as not to disappoint Officer Serf, I can't be outraged by this disemination of this security camera photo since it clearly portrays the person of interest's identifying facial features. There is a high probability that those who know this person would recognize him from this photograph. What I do find strange is that there is little information given as to why this person's photo is being published, and what makes it likely this person is the thief of some 40-year old advertisements that are valued for their historical significance.

It's implied that this person may be the thief because the timing of when the theft was noticed corresponds to the time this person entered the building. The News-Gazette and the University Police have taken an enormous risk here, because really, we are not given any tangible evidence that this person is the likely thief. I don't see the advertisements in the book bag, I don't see the video of him removing the advertisements from the display case. If later, it comes to light that this person is not in possession of the advertisements, has an alibi of who he was with after entering the building, and claims he did not take the advertisements- The News-Gazette and the University Police could be, and probably should be sued to oblivion for smearing this man's reputation in front of you all.

Assuming the police and the library staff have additional evidence that links this person with the theft, it's also quizzacle that a place that has a super computer needs to publish his photo like this to create a public posse to be on the look-out for this guy. You'd think a more effective way of finding this person would be to enter this picture into a system that can automatically pull up University I.D. photos that closely resembles these facial features enough for a warrant to be issued. No wanted posters need to be published, when a super computer can pull up an exact match if it exists in a university I.D database, or a State of Illinois driver's license database. Perhaps such an animal hasn't been invented yet, and I may have missed my chance to make millions working for the government. The boys in legal and at the police station can now begin re-considering this cool new trend of publishing security camera stills before you eff up your budgets.

Besides, everybody knows who really took the adverstisements. It was some black guy. You know, a "thug."