Police seek help in Urbana motel robbery (with VIDEO)
URBANA — Urbana police are looking for help finding two men who robbed an Urbana motel and shot at an employee last week.
Investigator Duane Smith said the male clerk at the Lincoln Lodge, 403 W. University Ave., was not injured thanks to the bullet possibly deflecting off the floor before getting caught in his jacket.
Just after 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, two men wearing scarves over their faces entered the motel and displayed guns to the 36-year-old victim.
"He is ordered to empty the register. Money was given to one suspect, who shoved it in his pants pocket. He was then made to lie down on the floor," said Smith, adding that police believe both of the robbers had guns.
As the men were at work during the robbery, the clerk's wife, who was in another part of the motel, became aware they were there and came to the desk area.
"One of the suspects chases her back upstairs. She locks herself in a room and he tells her 'you better stay in there,' then comes back down and assists the other suspect in pulling this large safe out of the office," said Smith, describing the safe as being about 2 feet by 2 feet.
"They do get it out and the last thing that happens is that (the male clerk) is shot while he is lying on the floor," said Smith.
Police found a projectile from a small-caliber weapon in the man's coat.
"It probably never hit him. It probably hit the floor and went through his jacket and remained in the coat," said Smith, saying the clerk was shaken but not physically harmed.
The robbers then left with the safe, which was found abandoned and unopened on Central Avenue south of the motel.
"Their trail is tracked through the snow. The safe is found abandoned. It was a considerable distance from the motel. As police entered the area, they probably decided it wasn't worth it. Footprints lead to where a car was parked on Central, on the south side of the railroad tracks," Smith said. "They got in a car and drove off."
Smith said the clerk's wife was not hurt.
Another with information on this robbery and shooting is asked to call Urbana police at 217-384-2320 or anonymously report it by phone to Crimestoppers of Champaign County at 217-373-8477. Information may also be sent anonymously online at http://www.373tips.com or by cellphone text message by sending "CCTIP" plus the information to CRIMES (274637).
Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads to an arrest. Cash rewards are also paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.