Man sentenced to three years in brass theft case

URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted his role in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of brass valves from an Urbana school under construction has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Lawrence T. Lillard, 30, of the 1300 block of Keesler Drive, was also ordered to repay Davis-Houk Mechanical Inc., a contractor at the Urbana Early Childhood School, 2202 E. Washington St., $17,135.

Lillard pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Heidi Ladd to theft of stolen property, admitting that on Nov. 3, 2012, he took part in stealing valves from the construction site.

Other charges of burglary and theft alleging the theft of other metals from that construction site on different days that same month were dismissed as part of Lillard's plea.

Ota Dossett, facilities director for the Urbana school district, said the brass valves were specially ordered for the new school's geothermal system and their theft put the project behind schedule by about five weeks.

Lillard was ordered to make the restitution collectively with two other men, one of whom is already serving a prison sentence and the other whose case is unresolved.

The brass is valued for the amount of money metal recyclers will pay for it. Urbana police never recovered the valves.

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