CHAMPAIGN — Police say they caught two Urbana men while working on solving a string of car burglaries in the early part of this year.
Bond was set on Friday at $7,500 for Jakeem Nelson, 21, and $5,000 for Ernie D. Sanders, 22, after they were arrested in a parking garage at 1010 W. Stoughton St. in Urbana the night before.
According to a press release, police had information linking Sanders to other burglaries and began conducting surveillance. Sanders and Nelson were arrested after officers watched them burglarize vehicles in the parking garage, according to the release.
Champaign police responded to 52 reports of vehicle burglaries in the campus and north Champaign areas between Jan. 13 and March 15. Detectives are reviewing evidence from each of those burglaries to determine if any are related.
The crimes have Champaign police reminding people that most vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and most thieves steal what they see in plain view. Burglaries can be avoided by locking your doors and closing your windows, even if you're gone for a brief time.
Police also suggest that, if you must keep valuables in your car, keep them out of plain sight. And anti-theft devices or alarms can deter would-be burglars.