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14-year-old charged as adult in alleged theft of 25 guns from Bloomington business

Courts graphic
WGLT file photo

McLean County prosecutors have charged a 14-year-old boy as an adult in connection with the theft of 25 guns from a Bloomington gun store last year.

One of the weapons was linked to the shooting of a 13-year-old boy in Peoria in 2021.

The 14-year-old who was arrested is from the southern Illinois city of Grafton. He faces felony charges of stolen firearm possession, burglary and criminal damage.

Prosecutors said the teen, two other juveniles and a 21-year-old Peoria man, tried to break into a Bloomington pawn shop last December. When they failed, they drove to Smiley's Sports Shop, a gun store in southeast Bloomington. They broke a window and stole 24 handguns and an AR-15 rifle, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said three of the stolen weapons were later used in crimes, including the shooting of a Peoria boy and a separate carjacking. Six of the firearms have been recovered.

The Peoria man charged in the case, Dajuan Edwards-Melton, was sentenced in September to three years and one month in federal prison.

The teen charged in McLean County faces a $250,000 bond in juvenile custody, according to court records. His next court date is Jan. 6.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.