Law enforcement takes action against recent child abductions

Champaign police are taking action on the recent string of attempted child abductions, and they now have at least one suspect in custody. The trend has recently spread across Wright Street into Urbana city limits.

*Urbana Police report attempted abductions*

Urbana Police reported that two attempted abductions took place on Tuesday and Aug. 31.

According to the report, a 14-year-old girl was walking in the 1600 block of Kinch Street when a male in a pickup truck asked if she needed a ride. The girl said no, and the man drove away.

The suspect was described as a black male with a “chubby” face who was about 30 years old. He was wearing a red shirt or jacket and had a mustache.

The truck was described as a small, newer-looking pickup truck. It was silver and had a gold stripe.

Police also reported that an Urbana Middle School student was walking near Florida and Broadway avenues when a man approached him in a four-door car. The student continued walking until he got home.

According to the report, the student said the man was a white male with red hair, a muscular build and a goatee. He was about 40 years old.

Urbana police said in the report that they have been coordinating with the Urbana School District, other law enforcement agencies and concerned parents to help stop these abduction attempts. They have placed additional patrols around school zones.

*Suspect arrested in Champaign*

Champaign police detectives reported Thursday that they arrested a male suspect who was connected to an attempted child abduction on Sept. 28.

The suspect, 54-year-old Billy Wayne Mullins of Champaign, was found riding his bicycle on the 1300 block of Fairfax Drive. He was arrested on charges of attempted child abduction and is currently being held in the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

The attempted abduction occurred on Sept. 29 when a 13-year-old girl reported that on Sept. 28 at the Dobbins Downs Playground, a male suspect approached her and told her to come to his home because he needed help with groceries and added that he had candy. When the victim yelled out to gain her friend’s attention, the suspect took off on his bicycle.

*Multiple agencies check sex offenders’ compliance*

Champaign police and the United States Marshals Service reported that they completed a one-day sex offender compliance and verification check, called Operation Champaign County Compliance.

Multiple agencies, composed of Mahomet, Rantoul, Champaign, Urbana and other police departments, checked 135 registered sex offenders in their jurisdictions to identify and locate sex offenders to check compliance with the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act.

Of the registered sex offenders investigated, 78 were found to be in compliance, 47 needed further investigation, eight were not compliant and warranted further investigation and two were taken into custody.

“We are appreciative of the area agencies who worked with us on this operation,” said Lt. Joseph Gallo, Champaign investigations division commander, in a press release. “This proactive and comprehensive effort shows what can happen when federal, state and local law enforcement work together.”