UIS burglarized over winter break, suspect in custody


Brookens Library and the Public Affairs Center (PAC) on the UIS campus were broken into and vandalized over winter break, a former food service employee, Russell Horrighs, is a suspect of this break-in.
On Dec. 18, officers from the UIS Police Department responded to a call to Brookens Library after the discovery of damages in several classrooms. These included damages to a projector and the accompanying screen, an instructor station computer, and a DVD/VCR. While at the library, the officers received another call regarding damages in the third-floor classrooms of the PAC. Several electronic devices in both the classrooms and lobby of PAC were found to be damaged or stolen, with costs totaling over 3000 dollars.
It is believed that the suspect was able to access multiple rooms in the library by removing ceiling panels and crawling through the sub-ceiling, where handprints and fingerprints were found. Also found were a set of keys for a truck believed to belong to Horrighs’s father. Horrighs has been accused of stealing truck, a Walgreens rewards card belonging to Horrighs’s mother, along with a tire iron and a brown glove. Several of the stolen items were found in a trashcan nearby.
On Dec. 22, officers of the UIS Police Department interviewed Horrighs, who was being held in the Sangamon County Jail on separate charges. During the interview, Horrighs at first denied involvement, claiming that he hadn’t been to UIS in “a long time.” When confronted with the keys and the rewards card however, he admitted that he was in fact responsible for the break-in. When pressed for details, he claimed that he couldn’t recall much of what happened, having been high on methamphetamines at the time of the break-in.
On Dec. 26, charges were filed against Horrighs. These charges included one count of burglary, one count of theft, and one count of criminal damage to government property. On Jan. 4, at his preliminary hearing, Horrighs’s bond was set at 20,000 dollars and a public defender was appointed for him. A jury trial is set for Jan. 29 at 10:00 am with Judge John M. Madonia presiding.
When asked for comment, UIS Police Chief Mitchell said, “This is just one of those cases that through investigation we were able to identify the person and close the case.”