Liquor theft brings prison sentence

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted stealing liquor from an Urbana grocery store has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Frederick Howard, 26, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Williamsburg Drive, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Champaign County Circuit Court to the June 8 burglary of the County Market Store, 1819 S. Philo Road.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said Howard admitted he went in the store intending to steal alcohol because he and a friend who had been drinking all day had run out of booze.

After hiding six bottles of liquor on him, Howard ran from the store into a waiting car. An employee got a license number. Police later stopped the car, identified Howard as the liquor thief, and retrieved the alcohol, Bennett said.

Bennett said Howard has a prior conviction for residential burglary.

In return for Howard's plea, other charges of theft, forgery and burglary were dismissed.

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