Steven Houston Sept. 11

STEVEN HOUSTON

URBANA — A Rantoul man who allegedly robbed a person he had met only hours earlier Thursday night is due back in court later this month.

Steven Houston, 30, who listed an address in the 1100 block of Bel Aire

Drive, was charged Friday with aggravated robbery and theft from person.

Rantoul police Sgt. Rodney Sullivan said the 55-year-old victim from

Alabama was staying at the Knights Inn on West Champaign Avenue in

Rantoul.

He told police he was standing outside his room about 10:20 p.m. when he

was approached by a man he later identified as Houston, who demanded his

wallet.

The victim said he refused to turn it over and allegedly saw that Houston

had a gun. Although he said Houston did not threaten him or point the gun

at him, he was alarmed enough to give Houston $50 from his wallet,

Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the victim had met Houston at another nearby hotel earlier

that day. That’s where police found Houston about 11:20 p.m. after the

victim reported the holdup.

Sullivan said police did not recover a gun or the $50.

Judge Tom Difanis set bond for Houston at $50,000 and told him to be back

in court Sept. 24 for a probable-cause hearing.

If convicted of the more serious robbery charge, Houston faces penalties

ranging from probation to four to 15 years in prison.

mschenk@news-gazette.com