Sixth man arrested in connection with vehicular hijacking

Sixth man arrested in connection with vehicular hijacking

URBANA — A sixth man has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery and vehicular hijacking earlier this month in Urbana.

Police arrested Elijah Muhammad Duckworth, 18, who listed an address in the 900 block of South Lierman Avenue, Urbana, for armed robbery and aggravated vehicular hijacking following a traffic stop on Saturday night.

Duckworth is being held at the Champaign County Jail on $65,000 bond.

According to a police report, Duckworth was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for not having a rear registration light in the 2100 block of East University Avenue, Urbana, at about 9:10 p.m. Saturday.

When police questioned him, Duckworth allegedly gave a false name and then tried to ran away. When police caught him, they found his identification in his pocket.

In addition to being wanted for a carjacking and armed robbery in Urbana on Jan. 12, Duckworth was also wanted for a pending driving under the influence charge and a pending petition to revoke probation for aggravated battery, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Stephanie Weber.

Five other men were charged with armed robbery and aggravated vehicular hijacking in connection with the Jan. 12 incident:

— William L. Ayres, 21, who listed an address in the 2500 block of Prairie Green, Urbana.

— Andrew C. Bell, 19, who listed an address in the 1100 block of Northwood Drive, Champaign.

— Robert A. Grady, 19, who listed an address in the 800 block of North Coler Avenue, Urbana.

— Zachary T. Gray, 19, who listed an address in the 1600 block of Hunter Street, Urbana.

— Herbert C. Shah, 21, who listed an address in the 700 block of East Illinois Street, Urbana.

Those five men are still being held at the county jail on $250,000 bond each. They are all scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 18.

According to an Urbana police report, officers were called to the 1600 block of Hunter Street, Urbana, at about 3 a.m. Jan. 12.

When police arrived, they found two Urbana men, ages 29 and 39, who had been beaten and robbed of cash, a cellphone and a 1997 Ford pickup truck.

The report indicated a man approached the two victims, who were sitting in the truck at the time. After they talked, the man left and entered an apartment in the 1600 block of Hunter Street.

About 10 minutes later, the same man, accompanied by others, left the apartment.

One of the men broke out the driver’s side window of the truck.

When the two victims got out of the truck, they were beaten and robbed, police said.

Some of the robbers fled on foot, but at least one of the men drove off in the pickup truck.

After police found the pickup truck several blocks away within an hour after the incident, they enlisted the help of a police dog from the Champaign County sheriff’s office.

The dog tracked a scent from the pickup truck to the apartment on Hunter Street.

After getting a search warrant for the apartment, police went there at about 7:30 a.m. and talked to several people, ultimately arresting the five men about a half-hour later.

During a search of the apartment, cash, the victim’s cellphone and two handguns were recovered, according to police.

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