An incident that began with someone observing suspicious activity in Litchfield on Friday morning, Aug. 16, ended in a chase, manhunt, and ultimate arrest in Hillsboro.
Russell A. Oakley, 24, of Hillsboro, was charged with burglary, theft over $500, criminal damage to property, resisting a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of stolen property.
According to the Litchfield Police Department, a city worker in Litchfield saw a male pushing a small motorbike and wearing multiple backpacks in the 800 block of West Union Avenue in Litchfield at 8:17 a.m. Friday morning. The witness called police and watched as the suspect loaded the motorbike into a red Chevrolet sedan.
While police were trying to find the suspect, a business owner in the area flagged down the officer to report his business had been burglarized.
A short time later, a deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office saw a vehicle traveling erratically on the North Road, just north of Hillsboro, and initiated a traffic stop when the vehicle pulled over and a man jumped out of the car and ran. Two other occupants were detained.
The runner was observed by Lakewood Estates residents on the west side of Glenn Shoals Lake in Hillsboro before he fled into a nearby cornfield. Police called in the Litchfield Fire Department drone and Illinois State Police air operations, but could not find the suspect.
He was later again sighted by Lakewood Estates residents and police were summoned. He again fled on foot, but this time, was taken into custody by pursuing officers.
In addition to the Litchfield Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, the investigation involved the Hillsboro Police Department, Illinois State Police, Litchfield Fire Department, and Illinois Secretary of State Police