At least five burglaries and thefts in and around Mansfield were reported in a five-day spree in mid-October. Several vehicles were stolen, including a truck from a driveway of a home within the village.
Piatt County Sheriff’s officials say five vehicles taken from burglaries in Piatt and Champaign County have since been located and a suspect identified. A name is not being released until charges are filed.
The first incident involved a break-in of a rural home west of Mansfield during daytime hours on Oct. 16. The next day, break-ins were also reported at the Corner FS, Blue Ridge Township Road District shed, and another rural residence west of town.
On Oct. 20, an F-150 was stolen from a driveway in Mansfield and eventually recovered in Urbana.
Conversely, Sheriff’s investigator Tom Apperson said a vehicle stolen from the High Cross Road area of Urbana was found in a parking lot in Mansfield, further linking the Piatt County thefts with others in Champaign County.
Apperson said break-ins of locked buildings is difficult to prevent, but did “strongly recommend to business owners and home alike to keep track of serial numbers of electronics and tools when they buy them. When thefts of these items occur, the serial number becomes very beneficial to law enforcement to help locate the items if they are pawned or recovered.”
Brazen, daytime burglaries were also reported in Monticello Township during the summer, with no arrests yet in those cases. Apperson was not sure if they are connected to the Mansfield-area thefts.
“At this time, I am unable to conclude that these incidents in Mansfield and Champaign are tied to the residential burglaries reported over the summer in Monticello Township,” he said.