One arrested as package thefts persist

URBANA, Illinois – University of Illinois Police arrested a 24-year-old man suspected of stealing multiple packages from the doorsteps and mail areas of campus-area apartments.

Meanwhile, police are asking campus community members to take steps to secure their deliveries and reduce the incidence of package theft.

On Friday, police were called by a maintenance worker at an apartment building in the 1100 block of West Stoughton Street, Urbana, for a report of an unauthorized person sleeping in the boiler room of the complex. Police entered and recognized Javarrias Miller, 24, no address provided.

University Police are familiar with Miller due to his 10 arrests since December 2022 for theft, trespassing, burglary, possession of stolen property, identity theft and stalking. In one case, he allegedly made a threat of violence toward a university residence hall.

Police had been looking for him since Wednesday, when he allegedly stole a university-owned laptop computer from the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana, and then ran from police when confronted.

When police went to the apartment complex on Friday, Miller was found in possession of that computer, as well as several other open packages and pieces of stolen property. He was arrested for trespassing, theft, burglary, resisting police and possession of stolen property.

He was taken to the Champaign County Jail on Friday and released Saturday.

Police will contact the owners of the stolen property recovered.

Dozens of package thefts have been reported to police during the past year. Several arrests have been made, but the issue is persistent.

Police are reminding community members of some ways to protect your orders:

  • Do not prop open doors, and do not hold secure doors open for people you don’t know. It’s OK to politely ask them to use their key instead.
  • When ordering from Amazon, consider the option of having it delivered to a secure Amazon hub instead of your doorstep, especially if it’s a particularly valuable item.
  • Do not have packages delivered to your home or apartment while you are away for an extended period.
  • Sign up for the carrier’s text message notifications so you know when a package has been delivered. Retrieve it promptly.
  • Report suspicious activity to police immediately. If you witness a package theft in progress, call 911 and be prepared to provide a description of the person involved.

Please note, those arrested are presumed innocent until proved guilty, and formal charges may change as cases are adjudicated.