Employee arrested in apartment burglaries

Employee arrested in apartment burglaries

URBANA — An employee of a north Urbana apartment complex has been arrested in connection with a series of burglaries to apartments in July.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said that on Wednesday he arrested Jamal X. Earley, 21, who listed an address in the 700 block of West Illinois Street, Urbana, for residential burglary for allegedly entering six apartments at One North and One South in the 1600 and 1300 blocks of North Lincoln Avenue and stealing electronics.

"The complex has electronic key cards like a hotel, which recognizes when keys are used. In all six burglaries, Earley's key was used," said Morgan.

Morgan said Earley was employed as part of a crew assigned to cleaning and fixing apartments when tenants move out, which is why he had a pass key.

Through an investigation, Morgan found that Earley was a friend of William J. Burton, 20, of the 1300 block of North Lincoln Avenue, who was criminally charged in late July with two counts of theft for allegedly possessing items taken from two apartments.

Morgan said police did a court-approved search of Burton's apartment earlier in July and found a computer, television and a couple of cellphones that had been reported stolen by residents between July 2 and 7. It was after locating those that complex officials found someone who read the electronic chips on the key cards and confirmed that Earley's was the key used to enter the apartments.

Earley was expected to be formally charged Thursday.

Burton remains free on bond and is due back in court Sept. 17.

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