Arrest warrant issued for Champaign man in bank robbery

Arrest warrant issued for Champaign man in bank robbery

CHAMPAIGN — Police have identified the man they are seeking in a bank robbery Tuesday in downtown Champaign.

An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Derek L. Watson, 38, of Champaign on charges of aggravated robbery in connection with the afternoon incident at Regions Bank, 111 S. State St.

Employees told police that a man entered the bank and handed the teller a note demanding money, then ran away to the east after getting an undisclosed amount. Police said the man implied he had a weapon but did not display one. No one in the bank was injured.

Detectives said they interviewed multiple witnesses and developed information resulting in Watson's identification. Bond on his warrant has been set at $750,000.

Watson is described as white; about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 170 pounds; with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white shirt with a graphic design on the front.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or Watson's whereabouts is encouraged to contact Champaign police's investigation division at 217-403-6900.

Those who wish to remain anonymous should contact Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477 or or via the free "P3 Tips" smartphone app. All tips submitted are electronically stripped of any identifying information and processed by a third-party answering service, not law enforcement.

Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters will never be asked their names and are given a secret code number to use when checking on a possible reward.

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