Police: Hatchet used to damage coin machine

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Edward Ellis, 26 Edward Ellis, 26

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – A Decatur man is accused of ramming his car into another and using a weapon to steal from a change machine.

Police say the suspect was first involved in a hit-and-run after 5 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Main and McKinley streets in Decatur. A driver and passenger told officers a red Chevrolet slammed into the rear bumper of their car, then reversed. The driver then tried to follow the Chevy, which police say moved into a Coffee Connection parking lot (2505 N. Water St.) and then drove across traffic lanes to get away from the scene.

Police say the owner of the Chevrolet had loaned it to 26-year-old Edward Ellis. That person says the front of the car was damaged when he returned it. Police say Ellis didn’t provide insurance information to the other driver or officers before he fled the scene.

After 9 p.m. on the same day, police responded to a report of someone using a hatchet to break into coin machines. Officers say they found Ellis at Water Shed Car Wash (990 West Harrison Avenue). Police arrested him after he started running.

Officers say they found a wood-handled hatchet and a metal bar along the getaway route Ellis took. He’s accused of damaging a change machine, two coin-operated timers, a light, part of the cement wall around the change machine and a door. The machines are valued at over $4,000 in total. 

Ellis faces four charges, including one for criminal damage to property and another for theft from a coin-operated machine. He’s in the Macon County Jail on a $35,000 bond.

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