Woman attacked, car stolen in UI parking garage

URBANA — University of Illinois police are looking for a man who attacked a UI employee in a parking garage on campus and stole her car Thursday morning.

Sgt. Tom Geis said about 7:10 a.m. a woman was walking down a side ramp in parking deck B-4, the large garage at 1201 W. University Ave. between Goodwin Avenue and Mathews Street, when she was grabbed from behind.

The attacker dragged the woman about 20 feet to a lower level, put her in a chokehold, and began rummaging through her purse, Geis said.

Another man pulled up in a vehicle, realized what was happening, got out and scared the attacker off. He ran to the east.

Geis said it took several minutes before the shaken woman realized that her car was missing. Neither she nor the man who came to her aid actually saw the car leave the deck, he said.

The stolen car is a red 2010 Hyundai Sonata with Illinois license plate MRITCH1,

Geis said the woman went to the hospital on her own to be checked out. He said she works at the Beckman Institute.

The attacker is described as a dark-skinned black man in his early 20s with short black hair and scruffy facial hair. He is about 6 feet 1 inch tall with a thin muscular build. He was wearing an orange sleeveless T-shirt and dark-colored nylon shorts.

Anyone with information is asked to call UI police at 217-333-1216 or Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477.

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