Chicago man charged with Champaign thefts
URBANA — A Chicago man who was allegedly cutting parts off U-Haul trucks early Monday has been criminally charged in Champaign County.
A Champaign police report said Christopher Balls, 38, was seen at the U-Haul Moving and Storage business at 306 E. University Ave. shortly after 2 a.m. allegedly cutting catalytic converters off an undisclosed number of trucks.
The converters are attractive targets for the value of the recyclable metal in them.
Balls was charged Monday with unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and theft of property between $500 and $10,000. If convicted of the more serious count, he faces penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.
Balls remained in the county jail Tuesday in lieu of $7,500 bond. He was told to be back in court May 14.