Five Arrested In Urbana Vehicular Hijacking


Five men are facing charges of armed robbery and related charges in connection with a vehicular hijacking that occurred early Sunday morning in Urbana.

Urbana Police were called to the 1600 block of Hunter Street at about 3 a.m., where two victims, both men from Urbana, had been beaten and robbed of cash, a cell phone, and a 1997 Ford pick-up truck. 

Based on initial interviews, a suspect approached the victims, who were sitting in the truck.  After a brief conversation, the suspect left.  About 10 minutes later, the same suspect and four others approached, coming from an apartment on Hunter Avenue. 

One of them allegedly broke out the driver’s side window, and victims were then beaten and robbed.  Officers say at least one suspect drove away in the truck, while others fled on foot.   The truck was later found, blocks from the scene.

A Champaign County Sheriff’s Office canine track led from the truck to the same apartment, and police obtained a search warrant.  The victims’ property was discovered, and five men were arrested on numerous charges, as well as Champaign County arrest warrants, shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday.

Those arrested were-

William Ayers, 21, of Urbana

Andrew C. Bell, 19, of Champaign

Robert A. Grady 19, of Urbana

Zachary T. Gray, 19, of Urbana

Herbert C. Shah, 21, of Urbana

Anyone with further information is asked to call Urbana Police or Crimestoppers at 373-TIPS.

Story source: WILL