On Thursday, September 16, 2021, at approximately 11:22 p.m., Champaign Police were dispatched to the Blue Star 2 convenience store in the 900 block of West Bradley Avenue for the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, officers learned a male produced a handgun, which he pointed at the clerk and demanded money from the register. The suspect was able to obtain an undisclosed amount of currency from the register before fleeing from the business to the west on foot. No injuries were reported in this incident. The suspect was described as a black male with a bald head, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, and red shoes with white soles.
Approximately 10 minutes later, at 11:32 p.m., Champaign Police were dispatched to the Circle K gas station in the 1600 block of West Springfield Avenue for the report of another armed robbery during which the clerk had been shot. When officers arrived, they located the male clerk inside the store with an apparent gunshot wound to his leg. Officers immediately provided medical aid to the victim who was later transported to the hospital. His injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening. Officers learned the suspect entered the store, shot the clerk, and then demanded money from the register. The suspect obtained an undisclosed amount of currency before leaving the business on foot.
The officers’ initial investigation soon determined that the suspect in both robberies was the same person based on witness descriptions and surveillance footage. During their investigation, officers were able to identify a possible location for the suspect. Officers went to an apartment complex at the corner of Mattis Avenue and Devonshire Drive. There they located an individual matching the suspect description. As the suspect was walking in the common area of the apartment complex, Officers were able to arrest him without incident. Officers located a black handgun with a defaced serial number on his person. The suspect was wearing clothing consistent with what was observed on video and described by witnesses.
Arrested was 35-year-old Carey Pettigrew of Urbana. Pettigrew was later transported to the Champaign County Jail where he awaits future court appearances.
Interim Police Chief Matt Henson stated, “The patrol officers and supervisors involved in these two incidents exhibited exceptional teamwork and exemplary investigative efforts. I want to commend and thank all of them for their selfless actions during these very dangerous, rapidly unfolding events.”
Though an arrest was made, anyone with information related to this incident is asked to please contact police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements may be made for information to be shared privately. If you wish to remain anonymous you may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Champaign Police reminds citizens that information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tips information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.
All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.