Police investigating Champaign bank robbery

Police investigating Champaign bank robbery

UPDATED 5:15 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN — Police are looking for a man who made off with cash from the Marine Bank, 1001 S. Neil St., C, Tuesday afternoon, the seventh bank robbery in Champaign since late March and the second one for this bank this year.

According to a Champaign police report, at 1:09 p.m., a man entered the bank wearing sunglasses, a hat and possibly a wig. After the man asked to speak with staff about bank services, he displayed a note demanding a specific amount of cash.

Although no gun was shown, police said, the man implied to the bank employee that he had one.

Champaign police Lt. Robert Rea said the robber left the bank and headed to the northwest. Rea said police are not aware of him getting into a vehicle.

Police said none of the five employees were reported to be harmed. Rea said there was a customer in the bank when the robber came in, but he left.

Police described the robber as a black man with a slender build and olive-colored skin in his 30s. He was wearing a light-colored or tan “golf-style” hat with black, shiny, shoulder-length hair that possibly may be a wig. He was wearing a black button-up shirt with a light or white T-shirt underneath.

The same bank was also robbed on May 21. Two men — Ronald Wilkerson, 43, of Champaign and William Jackson, 34, of Urbana — have been charged with that and are awaiting trial. Those two and Prentice Taylor, 56, of Urbana, are also charged with the May 8 armed robbery of the Central Illinois Credit Union, 2106 W. John St., C.

There has been one bank robbery in Urbana this year. That was at the Heartland Bank, 1812 S. Philo Road, U, on June 28.

The last bank robbery in Champaign was on July 6 when a man entered the First Midwest Bank, 812 W. Springfield Ave., C, and made off with cash, including a dye pack that police believe exploded in his hands within minutes of the robbery. No arrests have been made in that.

Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said detectives are looking at other robberies to determine if any of them are related or if additional suspects are involved.

There were at least five bank robberies in Champaign County in 2011: one in Urbana, two in Champaign, and two in Savoy.

If you have any information on this bank robbery, please call Champaign police at 351-4545 or Crimestoppers at 373-8477. Tips can also be sent at www.373tips.com or by cellphone text by sending CCTIP plus the information 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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Beem wrote on July 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I'm curious as to what this is: "a black Afro hairstyle that was shorter than shoulder length."

Afros grow up, not down, don't they?

use er name wrote on July 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Saw the pic and the first thought was "Is that Skeletor?"  Couldn't they just duct tape a couple of cheap 1st gen. I phones to the wall and get pics that might help! 

Stfunsu wrote on July 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

AGAIN, NICE PICTURE! My $40 cell phone takes better pics and VIDEO, I can also talk on it. What a freaking joke! The guy that robbed the "Porn Shop" (Illini Video) had a very clear picture taken from "porn shop" video. This is the biggest 'Krok'! I can almost make out my Liscense plate numer on images taken from millions of miles away but all we see is this: Greyish Micheal Jackson/alien face, with Prey Mantis eyes, sallad bowl/hard hat without the bill covering hair lookin like a mop head that just came from the Colorado Forest. Can NG please do a report on banks, how modern their surveillance system is?

opinionated8 wrote on July 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Did you happen to miss the Sunday front page of the NG? Or do I sense sarcasm in your comment?

trent_il wrote on July 18, 2012 at 8:07 am

While the video image is not the clearest, it is better than what some other banks have captured. Also, I think some of what we are seeing here is by design of the criminal, not the fault of the photography. I think s/he's wearing large glasses (hence the "praying mantis eyes") and of course the hat and wig will obscure actual physical features. Plus, given the natural-looking color of the teller's hair and everything else in the photo, I think his skin might be that sickly looking color.

serf wrote on July 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Just because it might be better doesn't make it acceptable.


If banks get the hint and actually start installing cameras worth a darn, make sure to put at least one of them at eye level (maybe at an entrance door, for example).  A pinhole camera in a door jam is not even noticable.  The cameras on the ceiling all the way across the room are not good enough to actually make ID's from.

trent_il wrote on July 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Oh, definitely, it should be better. I do think some banks have the updated technology. I guess those are just the ones that haven't been hit. Makes me wonder if we've got sophisticated enough criminals to tell whose cameras are up-to-date and whose are not. I might be giving them too much credit. Though, our bank robbers do appear to be a bit brighter than the Danville bank robber who was arrested within minutes yesterday!