Champaign man arraigned on burglary charges

Champaign man arraigned on burglary charges

URBANA — A Champaign man who allegedly broke in a home where the basement flooded after copper pipes were stolen is due back in court in October.

Kawame Johnson, 23, who listed an address in the 2400 block of Highview Court, was arraigned Thursday for residential burglary and criminal damage to property in connection with a July 15 break-in to a home in the 200 block of Garwood Street in Champaign.

A Champaign police report said the resident returned home after being out of town to find her front door kicked open and her home ransacked.

She found a 48-inch television and several bicycles stolen and her basement flooded as a result of copper pipes having been cut out. Metal wire was also removed.

The woman's rental company estimated the damage at more than $13,000.

Police were led to Johnson by a witness who reported seeing a man removing boxes from the home through a side fence and putting them in a red pickup truck.

Champaign police learned that Johnson had sold scrap metal at Mack's Recycling on July 15. Officials there had a record of the transaction and photos of him getting items out of a red pickup.

Police found Johnson on Wednesday and interviewed him. He admitted taking boxes out of the home and selling the metal for scrap but said someone else broke in and cut out the pipes.

If convicted of the more serious charge of residential burglary, Johnson faces a mandatory prison term of between four and 15 years.

On Friday, he remained in the county jail in lieu of $25,000. He was told to be back in court Oct. 22.

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