Rantoul man gets 3 years for stealing copper from old Chanute building

Rantoul man gets 3 years for stealing copper from old Chanute building

URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted stealing copper piping that he intended to scrap for cash from a building on the old Chanute Air Force Base has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Michael W. Evans, 37, whose last known address was in the 1300 block of McCullough Street, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Roger Webber to burglary. He admitted that on Aug. 4, he went in an abandoned building in the 100 block of East Nightingale Court intending to steal the copper.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Larson said a Rantoul police officer on patrol early that Saturday saw flashlights inside the building and saw Evans and another man, Timothy Lowe, 26, also of Rantoul, come out with a shopping cart that contained a saw, pliers, pipe cutters and several lengths of copper pipe.

The two admitted to police they intended to sell the metal to a recycler for cash.

Because of prior convictions, including aggravated criminal sexual abuse, driving under the influence and driving under revocation, Evans faced an extended term of between three and 14 years in prison.

In return for his guilty plea, five other felony cases charging him with driving under revocation were dismissed.

Webber agreed to allow Evans to turn himself in Monday to begin serving his prison term.

Lowe's case is unresolved. He is due back in court next month.

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