PAXTON — Arrest warrants have been issued for two men who allegedly stole a car at a Paxton gas station just hours after one of them was released from the Ford County Jail.
Paxton Police Chief Bob Bane said Frank A. Zamiar Jr., 19, of Paxton and Nicholas S. Klein, 25, of Paxton, formerly of Rantoul, had not been located as of Thursday.
Klein and Zamiar are wanted on warrants charging them with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, with bond set at $5,000 for each. Zamiar is also wanted on a warrant for violation of probation, with bond set at $50,000, Bane said.
Zamiar pleaded guilty Monday to attempted burglary, a Class 3 felony, and was released from the jail in Paxton at 2:30 p.m.
Around 10:30 p.m. Monday, Paxton police received a call about a possible domestic disturbance in progress in the parking lot of the Village Pantry, 435 S. Railroad Ave.
"It turned out not to be a domestic; it was two people inside a gentleman's car, and they drove off in it," Bane said.
Klein was identified as the driver, and Zamiar was identified as the other occupant, Bane said. They allegedly stole a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and left the scene, Bane said.
Bane said Klein and Zamiar were initially in the vehicle with a woman who owned the car. After she went into the store, her husband arrived and found the two men sitting in the vehicle, and they then locked the doors and drove away, Bane said.
Police found the vehicle unoccupied at 8:30 a.m. the following day in the parking lot at Heartland Health Care Center, 1001 E. Pells St.
After pleading guilty to attempted burglary on Monday, Zamiar was sentenced to 18 months of conditional discharge and ordered to pay $3,994 in restitution to the Full Gospel Christian Fellowship Church in Paxton. Paxton police took a report on Sept. 26 of an attempted burglary at Just Hamburgers in Paxton and a burglary at the Full Gospel Christian Fellowship Church. Police developed information that led to Zamiar's suspected involvement in the two crimes.
Bane is asking anyone with information about their whereabouts to call Paxton police at 217-379-4315 or Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173. Informants may remain anonymous and may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Will Brumleve is editor of the Paxton Record, a News-Gazette community newspaper. For more, visit paxtonrecord.net.