UPDATED: Police investigate Champaign, Urbana robberies

UPDATED: Police investigate Champaign, Urbana robberies

UPDATED 3:35 p.m. Wednesday.

Champaign and Urbana police are comparing notes about armed robberies that occurred in their respective cities late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Urbana police report that about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday a 29-year-old Urbana man was robbed at gunpoint by two men as he walked near the corner of West Oregon and Birch Street. The victim was robbed of his wallet and a cell phone.
One of the robbers was on a bike and was described only as a 17-year-old male wearing a white tank top and denim shorts. There was no description given of the second robber other than that he was 17.
Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said about 10:55 p.m. Tuesday, a 21-year-old Champaign man was walking on Chalmers Street near Oak Street, talking on his cell phone, when he was approached by two men he didn’t recognize on bicycles.
One of the men pointed a gun at the man while the other searched his pockets.
The pair made off with his cell phone and wallet.
Both robbers then left on bicycles hearing north in the alley between Oak and Locust streets, Dunn said.
In Urbana, about 12:10 a.m., a 29-year-old man was also robbed at gunpoint as he walked alone.
Urbana police investigator Kurt Buckley said the man was walking south on Vine Street near Fairlawn Avenue when he thought he was being followed by someone on bicycles.
The man kept walking south then turned east on Florida Avenue. As he neared the corner of Florida Avenue and Grove Street, he heard someone running at him. Two men approached and one pointed a handgun at him and told him to hand over everything he had. The other man stood behind the gunman.
The man with the gun pulled the victim’s backpack from his body. In the struggle, the victim fell to the ground and his glasses came off so he wasn’t able to see well. The robbers also kicked him in the face, Buckley said, although the victim did not require medical treatment.
The robbers then ran north with the man’s $80 backpack that contained his $800 laptop computer.
The victim was unable to provide much of a description of the robbers other than to say that the gunman was wearing a black shirt, dark shorts, a dark winter hat and was clean-shaven.
In the Champaign robbery, that victim was also unable to give much of a description of either robber.
Anyone with information is asked to call Urbana police at 384-2320, Champaign police at 351-4545 or Crimestoppers at 373-8477.
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travelinman9981 wrote on August 08, 2012 at 9:08 am

I don't see how this is possible. It is illegal to carry a firearm, plus we just had a big gun buy back to get guns off the street. Oh wait criminals don't follow the law, who would have thought...

dwitt858 wrote on August 08, 2012 at 10:08 am

Exactly. I know numerous people who carry to protect themselves against idiots like these 2 fools. Thing is, if this man would have been carrying, and used it to protect himself, instead of "Urbana robbery under investigation", it would be "Urbana man arrested for unlawful use of weapon" and nothing would be said about the robbery attempt. What a joke.

natebaux wrote on August 08, 2012 at 10:08 am

take things into your own hands.

if you want to, carry concealed. the court wont kill you, these thugs might.

we will have each others backs through jury nullification. it is my right.

Mark Taylor wrote on August 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I know, right? I'm always having to protect myself every dang day. I mean, those people coming up to my door may look like girl scouts selling cookies, but they just as likely might be revolutionary socialistical cadres coming to take my guns. Well, they won't be coming round my house anymore!!!!!11!

I never feel so much like a REAL MAN as when I'm walking down the street, staring at people and just waiting for them to look at me cross eyed. I FEEL THE POWER!!!!!111! And I bought myself a really BIG GUN, so all you other illegal concealed carriers out there, don't mess with me because MINE IS BIGGER!!!!11! IT IS!!!!!11! IT IS BIGGER THAN YOURS!!!!1!

pangloss wrote on August 08, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I know people who pocket carry in SE Urbana anytime it is dark out when they need to be on the street for some reason (walking a dog, etc).  Ask an Urbana cop if he would ever venture onto Vawter St. at midnight without a gun...he would probably laugh at you.

Cops need real probable cause to search your person, so unless they have some reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime, having a gun in your pocket isn't incredibly risky.  In a bad neighborhood, a law abiding citizen would only get busted if he actually had to use a gun in defense...in which case, that use would be as a last resort and in order to survive.  Better to wind up with a weapons charge than a casket.

Thankfully I have moved out of that area so I no longer have to weigh these decisions every time I go out.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 08, 2012 at 5:08 pm
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You just conflated two distinctly different legal terms.


I don't know what you meant by that conflation, but I guess it's not important.


Officers don't need probable cause for a Terry Frisk. And many officers think they don't need reasonable suspicion either.

pangloss wrote on August 08, 2012 at 5:08 pm

You're right - I'm no legal expert, and my earlier post was poorly argued and made in haste.

My main point was just this: if you live in this neighborhood you are going to be much more worried about defending your life from thugs than you are about the relatively minor legal repercussions of possibly being caught with a concealed weapon.

rsp wrote on August 08, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Some of the above comments are suggesting that "law abiding citizens" illegally carry a gun and walk the streets at night. Then when a shooting happens a conspiracy will take place to prevent the shooter who was carrying a gun illegally from going to jail. And an additional suggestion is that the police will almost look the other way because it is so difficult to have probable cause to search. Anybody else see any flaws in these arguments?

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

Yes, everyone except the "John Wayne wantabees".  It would be interesting if they individually decided to walk the dark Urbana streets looking for "action" at the same time.  "Mutiple gun shots reported fired into the air; and multiple suspects seen running in different directions. Urbana police arrest multiple self reported law abiding citizens on concealed weapons charges.  All suspects had to be provided with jumpsuits due to soiled clothing."   

rsp wrote on August 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Big men trying to compensate. And they'll get to sit in jail telling each other how they didn't commit any crime and the police are out to get them. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm

They already do that on the websites they visit.  Government conspiracy, black heliocopters, and urban revolutions are the rage.  I bought a vehicle a few years ago.  While the dealership financial guy was waiting for the paperwork, he started talking to me about guns.  I thought it was odd; but what'a you gonna do waiting for the paperwork?  I told him that I had a shotgun, not a combat shotgun.  He recommended that I buy a 9 mm pistol with a high capacity magazine, and a .223 assault rifle.  I asked him why did I need that.  He told me about the secret government detention camps being built, the black heliocopters, and the upcoming urban revolution in Chicago.  He proceeded to show me his Glock, and three large cases of 9 mm ammunition in his office.  He said that he had too much ammo stored with other guns at home so he kept some in his office.  Thankfully, the paperwork showed up for me to sign.  What'a you gonna do?  Tell the guy that he is nuts?  My wife, and I left there without much comment after the deal was done.  Needless to say, I did not buy my next vehicle from the same dealership.   Some of these guys really believe that everything is going to heck sooner, or later; and want to be prepared for the hordes pouring out of urban areas into their towns to steal their food, and do other assorted evil things.  They scare the heck out of me because they don't know that they are crazy as looney tunes.  They hype themselves up based on the websites they visit, and chat on.

rsp wrote on August 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

Now that's why we need to register guns. Between that and Mark I'm laughing and crying it's so funny. Scary funny. Long weekend. Those types end up getting their guns stolen and don't report it. Think how many people he's told it's there. And they walk around leaving it unattended. Too many car lots loose keys and everything else because of all of the traffic. 

Mark Taylor wrote on August 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

Stop laughing at me! I'M A BIG MAN!!!!1 Look at my gun and see how big it is. STOP LAUGHING!!1!

OK. That does it. I'm going to the store and getting an EVEN BIGGER GUN!!1! Then you'll see. You'll all see. No one will be laughing at me anymore, not once I HAVE THE BIGGEST GUN EVAR!!1!

I'm the BIGGEST MAN HERE. Look at all my guns if you don't believe me. LOOK AT THEM!!1! Look at them and SHOW ME SOME RESPECT!!!1!

sameeker wrote on August 13, 2012 at 6:08 am

If we ban guns, are we also going to allow people to sue the police when they are not there to prevent something from happening to them?

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

We do not need to have guns banned.  There is a need for more comprehensive background checks on who buys guns.  There is, also, a need for restrictions on sales of some types of guns.  There is no reason for the sale of a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle, or assault rifles with high capacity magazines.  Restricting the sale of assault rifles; and high capacity magazines for pistols, or rifles would cut down on the number of people who can be murdered by a gunman at one time.   If someone wants to target shoot, or hunt; they can do it with a rifle with a ten round magazine, or a pistol with a ten round magazine.  There is no need for thirty, or fifty round magazines for rifles; and thirteen, or seventeen round magazines for pistols.    FOID card background checks need to be full background checks; and done annually.  Possession of a gun without a FOID card needs prosecution with stiffer sentences.  It is a start.  It is a compromise.  Without that approach by the states, the federal government needs to take control by having a national gun law.  This self eroticism with guns needs to stop.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on August 15, 2012 at 1:08 am
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I have discovered that the opposition from the rabidly pro-gun crowd regarding banning all that stuff you mentioned is based on two main objections:

1) They think that the 2nd amendment forbids the government from making any restrictions on gun ownership.

2) Many of them think that, one day soon, there is going to be some sort of huge uprising in which everyone who isn't armed to the teeth will end up dead.  A lot of them think the government is going to come and get them one day, and they need all their guns to fight back.  What they seem to forget is that the government has tanks, missiles, aircraft, bombs, etc.  I don't care if you have a thousand guns, good luck defending yourself from all that.

Mark Taylor wrote on August 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

...good luck defending yourself from all that.

Yeah, because that day is really, definitely, no question about it, coming, right?