Urbana man charged with gas station holdup

Urbana man charged with gas station holdup

URBANA — An Urbana man who told police he needed money for his heroin addiction has been charged with armed robbery.

Zachary A. Sanderson, 25, who listed an address in the 500 block of East Main Street, is accused of robbing a male clerk at Mr. Gas, 808 E. Main St., U, about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Urbana police investigator Dave Smysor said the clerk reported that a man wearing a ski mask and gloves announced: “I’m having a bad day. Give me all the money.”

The masked man then reached in the cash drawer, took a large amount of cash and ran out of the business to the southwest.

Smysor said Champaign County sheriff’s deputies in the area tried to stop a man matching the description of the robber at Green and Maple streets, but he ran from them. That man, later identified as Sanderson, was eventually caught on Urbana Avenue at Main Street but was not wearing the same clothing that the clerk had reported on the robber.

Smysor said officers checked the area and found a knife in a garbage can at Webber and Main streets and across the street, in a recycling bin, found a jacket, gloves and a ski mask.

Smysor said Sanderson told police that he ran because he’s a heroin addict who had a syringe on him and didn’t want to be caught with that. They then went to his apartment to speak with his girlfriend and saw several knives that looked similar to the one that had been found in the garbage can.

Smysor said Sanderson told officers that if they gave him a cigarette, he would show them what they wanted to see.

Officers got him a cigarette and Sanderson took them to a yard in the 200 block of North Urbana Street and motioned to bushes, where police found several hundred dollars of cash on the bushes and the ground.

If convicted of armed robbery, Sanderson faces six to 30 years in prison.

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