News Local/State

Champaign Police Officer Charged With Vehicle Burglaries In Fisher

Champaign Police Station

Champaign Police Headquarters Travis Stansel/Illinois Public Media

A Champaign Police officer was arraigned on burglary charges Tuesday in connection with a string of motor vehicle break-ins in the nearby town of Fisher.

43-year-old Justus Clinton was arrested at his home in Fisher Monday night by Champaign County Sheriff’s deputies.

The News-Gazette reports he pleaded ‘not guilty’ to burglary charges at his arraignment. A judge set bond at $10,000.

Clinton is accused of stealing items from several unlocked motor vehicles in Fisher during the pre-dawn hours on Sunday.

Clinton had been a Champaign Police officer for 14 years. But a police news release says he had been put on administrative leave in March for violations unrelated to his arrest. The news release says Clinton entered into a Separation and Release Agreement last week, in lieu of termination.

Champaign Police say they are cooperating with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the matter, along with Fisher Police.However, Champaign authorities say they "will not be directly involved in the investigative process".

In connection with the vehicle burglaries, the Champaign County Sheriff's Department reminds residents "that the first measure of protection from theft or burglar is to lock all car doors, home doors and close garage doors".