Urbana teen charged with felony burglary

URBANA — A teenager who was allegedly checking on the door handles of vehicles and taking change from at least one of them is being held at the Champaign County Jail.

Twyone Damon Mitchell, 17, who is also listed as Tywone Mitchell and listed an address in the 1200 block of West Church Street, Urbana, was charged on Monday with two counts of felony burglary.

According to a police report, witnesses called police when they saw a man checking the door handles on cars and stealing change from the console of at least one of them in the 1400 block of Jackson Road, Urbana, at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Urbana police found a man, identified as Mitchell, matching the description of the vehicle burglar a few blocks away. When police arrested Mitchell, he admitted taking the change.

Mitchell's next court appearance was set for Aug. 20.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on July 01, 2013 at 11:07 pm
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I saw a ten year-old kid doing this on Vawter. 

Brad Cortright wrote on July 02, 2013 at 12:07 am

Charged with two felonies for stealing change from cars.  Seems a little harsh.   

Skepticity wrote on July 02, 2013 at 10:07 am

Don't worry, he will plea it to a misdemeanor and get probation. 

And the 10 year old (parents anywhere?) is just starting his career.  Plenty of time to build skills and avoid being so easily seen doing this. 

The willingness of youths to enter other people's vehicles and homes to take whatever they want is a strong indicator of parents who either don't care or who encourage doing this by setting an example. 

For kids who grow up in chaotic households without predictable consistent rewards and consequences linked to their behaviors, acts of successful theft offer instant gratification.  If you can't rely on predictable results for behavior, best get gratification however and whenever you can. 

Clearly the 17 year old (we can't check his juvenile record, but since he is charged with felonies as an adult at 17 he most likely has had multiple juvenile arrests) should have charges reduced to misdemeanors or dropped and just get probation plus his jail time waiting for trial. 

That way he can rack up 7 or 8 other charges before getting 6 months in a boot camp. 

It isn't a big jump from entering vehicles to entering homes.  Less likely to be seen going in the back of a home than on the street. 

My sympathy is for the people who have their vehicles and homes violated by thieves. 

The 10 year old might be young enough to make changes with the right help in the right environment.  It is less promising for the 17 year old.