Police seek help in robbery of Urbana bicyclist

URBANA — University of Illinois police are asking for help in solving a robbery Saturday night in which a bicyclist's purse was stolen.

A 27-year-old UI student was riding south on the sidewalk in the 200 block of North Mathews Avenue at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, according to a release. As she passed a pedestrian walking north, he grabbed her purse off her shoulder and ran away to the northwest.

The victim went directly to the Grainger Engineering Library to report the crime to police, according to UI police Sgt. Tom Geis. Her boyfriend then was able to use his cellphone to track the location of her phone, and UI student patrol members found the phone, her purse and its contents, except for the cash that had been in it, near the Coordinated Science Lab, 1308 W. Main St., U.

The robber is described as a black man in his mid-20s, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 9, with a medium to dark complexion and a small to medium build. He was wearing a dark red or burnt orange sweatshirt and dark pants or jeans, and a knit-type hat with single red strands of braided material hanging down on each side. The hat had a white interior and was flipped up above the robber's forehead showing the white material.

If you have information about the robbery, UI police ask you to call them at 333-1216. Tips can be left anonymously through Crimestoppers, at 373-TIPS, via the agency's website, http://www.champaigncountycrimestoppers.com, or by text message by sending CCTip plus the message to CRIMES (274637).

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