Man tells police night of partying led to joyride in National Guard Humvee

Man tells police night of partying led to joyride in National Guard Humvee

CHAMPAIGN — A Chatham man who allegedly took a Humvee on a joyride around Champaign last week after having partied too much is due in court Thursday.

Zachary Bulva, 32, was arrested Saturday for motor vehicle theft after making a full confession to Champaign police about his shenanigans, which weren't entirely clear to even him.

Detective Sgt. Dave Griffet said Champaign police were dispatched to the Illinois National Guard Armory on Park Street just before 9 a.m. Friday to take a report of a stolen Humvee.

"It apparently had been ordered from the motor pool for use in the Fourth of July parade," Griffet said of the tan military vehicle. "After the parade, it was parked on Second Street outside the Armory and allegedly secured with a cable and padlock."

Griffet said Armory officials reported seeing it last about 4:30 p.m. Thursday but reported it missing Friday morning.

Meanwhile, during the late-night hours of Thursday and early-morning hours of Friday, police received reports of a reckless driver in a Humvee near Market Street and Bradley Avenue in north Champaign, Griffet said. However, officers couldn't find it.

Griffet said on Saturday, police learned that the Humvee was found in the 1800 block of South Oak Street in Champaign near the University of Illinois motor pool.

Once it was recovered, crime-scene technicians were summoned to process the vehicle for fingerprints.

"As that was unfolding, the suspect contacts Champaign police and says he wants to come in and confess," Griffet said.

"He provided a statement that he was in town for a wedding, consumed alcohol and doesn't know how he did it, but found the unsecured Humvee on a street and figured out how to start it and must have been driving it around," he said, adding that Bulva may have been under the influence of other medication.

"He was totally cooperative with the officer and very apologetic," Griffet said.

Bulva was arrested after giving the statement and spent Saturday night in the county jail. On Sunday, Judge Michael Jones released him on his own recognizance and told him to be back Thursday.

That is a typical procedure for non-violent crimes that happen on the weekend.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said her office will review the police reports and decide by Thursday what action to take against Bulva.

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787 wrote on July 11, 2017 at 8:07 am

Julia Rietz's favorite word... probation!

rsp wrote on July 11, 2017 at 8:07 am

He did turn himself in. 

Pointblank wrote on July 11, 2017 at 9:07 am
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Then how many years in the penitentiary if probation is not the correct sentence?

rsp wrote on July 11, 2017 at 11:07 am

They charged him with a class 2 felony. Motor vehicle theft conspiracy which varies by the value of the vehicle and the owner. Government-owned is more time. One of the requirements is the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property, which is hard to see when it was left on a public road to be found.

The proper charge is probably criminal trespass to a vehicle, which is a class A misdemeaner. It's also probational.

But seriously, who leaves a humvee in this neighborhood and thinks nothing's ever going to happen?


wayward wrote on July 11, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Don't all of us from time to time get loaded and joyride around town in a stolen Humvee?

BruckJr wrote on July 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

This guy took a tank:

dolores wrote on July 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

when my car was stolen police couldnt be bothered to check for fingerprints. yet its a matter of course when their property is stolen. 

Toxaz wrote on July 15, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Anyone who has driven those or even been in one knows that there is no key, all you do is flip a switch to start, wait for the glow plugs, turn a switch, and drive off. The only security feature is the cable and padlock fastened to the underside of the column making it impossible to steer.

The only real security is the location that the truck is stored when not in use; usually a locked motorpool, inside of a barbed wire fence, something all armories, including this one has. Ok not all aromories have motor pools but they are at least fenced in with high barbed wire.

Whatever Soldier was responsible for leaving that truck on the street, assuming it was a lower enlisted, just earned themselves a years worth of s*** details, and possibly lost rank, maybe an Article 15 and a promotion flag, up to his commander, probably in the front lean and rest right now.

As for the guy who stole it, yes he deserves to be punished, he felt bad and turned himself in. Does he deserve a felony in which his record will be tarnished making it difficult for work and other oppurtunities?

No, give him some community work, a misdemeanor, but he tried to do the right thing.

The system makes it way to hard for people to get back on the right track with these harsh records, and lets not even get started on our "correctional" and "rehabiltative" services in our country.

Either way I am sure he will get far away from here, what with his mug posted all over this site and other news sources.