PESOTUM — Twice this week the tornado siren in Pesotum has gone off with nary a hint of inclement weather in sight.
And village officials and police believe it may have happened "maliciously."
"We have a lot of people calling and inquiring," said Robert Russian, the Emergency Management Agency coordinator for the southern Champaign County community of about 550 people.
At 7:30 p.m. Monday and again at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, the siren, which is located outside the village hall on Lincoln Street, sounded for five minutes each time.
"The sheriff's office is investigating," said Russian. "We're not positive it's malicious. We have gotten with the people who installed the sirens a few years ago and they think that is likely not mechanical. Possibly, someone has hacked into the system."
"We are having that checked out," he said.
Russian said not only is it annoying, it's concerning to officials that residents might disregard a credible alarm in the event of bad weather.
Anyone with information on the siren soundings is asked to call the Champaign County Sheriff's Office at 217-384-1213 or Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477.
Information may also be sent anonymously online at http://www.373tips.com  or by cellphone text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).
Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads to an arrest.