Man in Custody for Auto Theft in County


Published on April 13 2018 2:37 pm
Last Updated on April 13 2018 2:47 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A Stewardson man is in custody in connection with an auto theft in Effingham County Friday morning.

35-year-old Willis J. Hewkin was arrested for theft of a motor vehicle and driving while his license is revoked. He was also cited failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, improper lane usage, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.

The Effingham County Sheriff's Office received a report at 5:27am that a vehicle had just been stolen from 8600 North 1200th Street, which is the Old Watson Road, north of Watson. The owner of the vehicle was awakened when he heard the vehicle started and backed down the driveway. The owner ran outside and saw the vehicle being driven away, headed north on Old Watson Road.

About four minutes later, while responding to the scene, Effingham County sheriff's deputies located the vehicle unoccupied and in a ditch along Raney Street, south of Jaycee Avenue. Effingham City police officers and the Illinois State Police responded to the area and assisted by forming a perimeter around the area. The Effingham County K-9 was deployed and Hewkin was located approximately a quarter mile southwest of the abandoned stolen vehicle in a wooded ravine. Hewkin was apprehended less than a half-hour after the vehicle was taken.

Hewkin is being held in Effingham County Jail awaiting his initial court appearance.

Sheriff Dave Mahon credited the quick mutual aid his office received from City police and State police that allowed deputies to concentrate on locating the suspect so quickly.