Police blanket neighborhood searching for suspect

Published 03/08 2013 04:36PM

Updated 03/08 2013 06:24PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Schools in one neighborhood were put on lock-down as police searched homes and yards for an armed suspect. Two banks were robbed Friday.

The first happened about 10:30 am at Region's Bank on State Street. Minutes later, another active robbery was reported taking place on Mattis. This time it was at the Champaign County Student Employee Credit Union.

No arrests have been made. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley finds out if the crimes are related.

Police are investigating to see if there's any connection. Their day began at Region's where a man said he had a gun, took cash and ran. But, the second robber on Mattis showed his gun and created a very dangerous situation for the whole neighborhood.

"If anything happened to them, that would be awful."

Lisa Ray couldn't help but think the worst when she pulled up to her daughter's house. It was blocked off by dozens of squad cars.

"I just immediately started shaking."

Police told here there had been a robbery down the street at the credit union. A man walked in, showed his gun, took cash and ran. He hasn't been found.

"It scared me to death because I got grandchildren and my children here. It's like anything can happen to anybody."

Surrounding schools went into emergency mode. Just a few blocks away, Centennial High and Jefferson Middle schools were put on lock-down.

"Everybody needs money. Everybody does. But, why commit a crime? Go get a job!"

Finally, Ray was able to get through all the squad cars and into her daughter's home.

"She was calling me saying, they've been in my house! I'm in your driveway. I'll be right there."

Then she found out just how dangerous the situation was.

"He tore the fence when he jumped over."

Her daughter says the armed suspect ran through her yard. Police searched the home and looked at footprints in the back, all while Ray's granddaughter was inside.

"Seeing a 4-year old little girl looking out the window saying, 'oh my.' Don't put everybody else's life in danger. Especially little children."

Police say no one was hurt during the robberies. No suspects have been arrested.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.

Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: CCTip + info to CRIMES (274637)

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