Man arrested for Robberies in Rantoul and Arcola
On September 21, 2017 at approximately 10:30pm, Rantoul Police Officers were dispatched to El Mercardito at 122 S. Garrard St. Rantoul. The owner of the business stated at approximately 8:15pm, a male subject entered the store through the front door and turned off the lights inside the store. The subject was armed with a “longer gun” and pointed it at the owner. The subject then demanded cash from the owner who complied. The subject then left from the store on foot. The initial estimate of the cash stolen from the business was $12,000.00.
Upon reviewing the surveillance footage, officers learned the subject emerged from the alley across the street to the west of the business. The subject was wearing a black leather coat with the hood up and a mask that concealed his face. The subject entered the store and can be seen with a “long gun” pointing it at the owner. After the subject receives the money, he exits the front door and walks back down the alley.
On September 22, 2017, Arcola Police Department contacted the Rantoul Police Department about a robbery that occurred in their town on September 20, 2017. At approximately 1:19pm, a subject entered Regiomontana Mexican Store (520 E Springfield Rd. Arcola). The subject appeared to have a small handgun and demanded money from the employee who complied. Arcola Police had identified a suspect on their case and identified him as Pablo D. Molina (DOB: 07/21/1978). Arcola Police obtained a Douglas County arrest warrant for Armed Robbery on Molina. Arcola Police stated Molina was believed to be living in Rantoul, IL in the 1000 block of Briarcliff Dr. Based on the report given by Arcola Police, there appeared to be many similarities to the robbery in Rantoul. Additionally, a vehicle that was parked at Molina’s residence appeared to be consistent to a vehicle seen on surveillance footage just prior to the robbery occurring in Rantoul. Rantoul Police conducted surveillance on the residence, but was unable to locate Molina on this date.
On September 23, 2017, Rantoul Police located Molina driving a vehicle on Maplewood Dr. A vehicle stop was conducted and Molina was arrested without incident on the Douglas County Warrant. The truck Molina was driving on this date was consistent with the vehicle driven during the robbery in Arcola.
Rantoul Police obtained court ordered search warrants for Molina’s residence and the vehicle seen in the Rantoul Robbery. Arcola Police had already obtained a court ordered search warrant for the truck Molina was driving. During the course of these searches, evidence was recovered from both robberies including a substantial portion of the cash that was stolen from both businesses. The long gun used during the Rantoul robbery was found to be a pellet gun.
An interview with Molina was conducted. During the interview, Molina admitted to committing both the Rantoul and Arcola robberies.
Molina was transported to the Champaign County Correctional Center on a charge of Aggravated Robbery and the Douglas County warrant.
The Rantoul Police Department was assisted by the Arcola Police Department throughout the investigation.