Bank robbery 'prank' lands teen in special program

Bank robbery 'prank' lands teen in special program

URBANA — A 14-year-old Urbana girl arrested by police in connection with an attempted bank robbery last week will be taking part in a program to teach her about the consequences of her actions.

Meanwhile, police said Monday they are looking for other juveniles associated with the incident after the girl told them it was all supposed to be a prank.

According to an Urbana police report, officers were called to the Heartland Bank, 1812 S. Philo Road, at 1:04 p.m. Friday in response to a report of an attempted bank robbery.

Police said a girl first asked to use the restroom before putting a note demanding money on the glass enclosure that separates the public from the bank staff. The girl then immediately pulled the note down and ran out of the bank.

When officers arrived, the girl had already fled the scene.

Nobody was hurt, and no money was handed over.

Then, about 3:55 p.m. Saturday, a 14-year-old middle school student from Urbana came to the Urbana Police Department, accompanied by her mother. The girl wanted to confess to her role in the attempted bank robbery, police said.

"The youth admitted to entering the bank and presenting the note," said Urbana police Lt. Bryant Seraphin. "She stated the entire incident was supposed to be a prank."

Police then arrested the girl for felony disorderly conduct and took her to the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center.

The girl was later referred to the Youth Assessment Center, which assists in getting help outside the court system for children between the ages of 10 and 17.

Because of the girl's age and lack of previous criminal activity, police said, she will take part in a program that will teach her about stealing, pranks and consequences.

Because other young people are thought to have been involved, Seraphin described the investigation as "ongoing." No other arrests had been reported as of Monday evening.

Anyone with further information is asked to call the Urbana Police Department at 384-2320 or Champaign County Crimestoppers at 373-8477.

Information may also be left anonymously online at http://www.373tips.com or sent via text to CRIMES (274637) with "CCTIP" plus the info.

Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads to an arrest.

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