Two arrested for burglary after holiday 'shopping spree' at Meijer

Two arrested for burglary after holiday 'shopping spree' at Meijer

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police found a teenage boy and a young man allegedly helping themselves to dozens of electronic items at a Champaign store on Christmas Eve and arrested both for burglary.

Deputy Chief Joe Gallo said that at 11:54 p.m. Tuesday, police were sent to deal with an alarm at the Meijer store, 2401 N. Prospect Ave. They arrived in minutes and several officers surrounded the sprawling store.

After a manager arrived to let them in, police spotted one of the two in the electronics area.

"There was a small chase in the store and they got him. He ran back toward the storeroom through the double swinging doors. He was pushing a shopping cart with duffel bags filled with electronic items," Gallo said.

Gallo said the multipage police report included at least 50 items ranging from Xbox and PlayStation games to smartphones to cameras and alcohol. Locked glass cases in the electronics area had been broken, he said.

"They were loading up. It's like a shopping spree," Gallo said.

The first suspect was nabbed by police at 12:17 a.m. on Christmas. The second was located hiding in the garden center about 1:35 a.m., Gallo said.

The Champaign County sheriff's office's tracking dog was brought in to help find the second suspect as Champaign's two dogs had the night off.

"It was nice work by the officers. The county assisted," said Gallo.

Police arrested Romie L. Franklin, 18, of the 0-100 block of Aztec Place, Champaign. He was charged Thursday with burglary and was to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

A 14-year-old Champaign boy was also arrested, Gallo said.

After the arrests, Gallo said officers found the door that had been forced open. It was not one of the main doors in the front, he said.

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rsp wrote on December 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I listened to the beginning of this call over the scanner and they were on scene so fast it was amazing. I would have been begging to be arrested after hearing that dog over the radio. I just had to laugh at anyone who thought they could hid from him.