On February 26, 2015 at 1:07AM, Champaign Police responded to a report of an armed robbery that occurred at the MACH 1 gas station at 902 Bloomington Road. Witnesses to the crime advised that the suspect left in a vehicle and was last seen driving westbound on Bloomington Road.
Officers were in the immediate area when the call was dispatched and were able to locate a possible suspect vehicle as it drove westbound on Bloomington Road at a high rate of speed. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, yet the driver disobeyed the officers’ directions to stop and continued driving at high rates of speed on snow packed roads. The officers did not pursue the vehicle. The vehicle continued southbound before it veered off of the road and struck a tree on Mattis Avenue at Round Barn Road. As a result of the crash, the vehicle caught fire. Officers were able to put out the fire utilizing fire extinguishers from their patrol cars.
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody without incident and officers recovered evidence related to the armed robbery, including cash and store goods, on his person and inside the vehicle. Arrested for the Armed Robbery was Lawrence D. Long Jr., age 33, from Urbana, Illinois. Long was treated at Carle Hospital for minor injuries received in the traffic accident and was incarcerated in the Champaign County Jail.
Anyone with additional information about this or related crimes can contact the Champaign Police Department by calling (217) 351-4545. Callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS.) Information may also be sent by anonymous online web tip by going to: www.373tips.com or by texting keyword “CCTIP” plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).