Pair in custody after reported carjacking, sexual assault

WGEM News at Ten
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:18 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - A Springfield, Illinois, man and a Quincy woman are in custody after a string of reported crimes that include vehicular hijacking, burglary and sexual assault.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports Bradley S. Yohn, 34, of Springfield, Illinois, and Karen D. Blackledge, 32, of Quincy, were taken into custody about 2 p.m. Wednesday in Springfield.

The sheriff’s office reports they responded about 6 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a burglary at a home off North Bottom Road in rural Adams County. There, a homeowner told deputies she had been the victim of a vehicular hijacking on North Bottom Road and forced to return to the home, which she also told deputies had been robbed.

Adams County Sheriff Rich Wagner told WGEM that a woman in her 70s had pulled over on the North Bottom Road about 6 p.m. Tuesday because a headlight on her vehicle wasn’t working correctly. She told police that Yohn and Blackledge pulled up behind her. She reported the two stole her car, took her home, robbed her and sexually assaulted her.

Wagner said the woman did not know either suspect.

As part of their investigation, deputies determined the vehicle the suspects reportedly used during the vehicular hijacking had been reported stolen Tuesday from a Quincy business. The investigation led police to identify Yohn and Blackledge as suspects.

Wagner said Yohn and Blackledge eluded police Tuesday night in Quincy and Hannibal before members of the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Unit tracked them down and arrested them about 2 p.m. Wednesday in Springfield.

Investigators applied for arrest warrants for Yohn for two counts of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, residential burglary and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Bond was set at $10 million with 10% to apply.

Yohn also was charged with an additional vehicular hijacking that occurred in Adams County last week. Bond in that case was set at $250,000, with 10% to apply.

Warrants for Blackledge were issued for two counts of home Invasion, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, residential burglary and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Bond was set at $5 million with 10% to apply.

The sheriff’s office reports the investigation is ongoing.

Yohn previously pleaded guilty in Sangamon County to felony charges of retail theft and aggravated battery/use of a deadly weapon. He had been sentenced in 2020 to three years in Illinois Department of Corrections in the battery case.

Blackledge pleaded guilty in Adams County in April to felony charges of use of a forged credit or debit card over $300, as well as possession of a stolen vehicle. In each of those cases, she was given concurrent sentences of 120 days in the Adams County Jail, with credit for time served, and 24 months of probation. The remaining jail time was stayed.

Earlier Tuesday, Blackledge appeared with her attorney for a status hearing in Adams County Court on a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine under 5 grams.

Wagner said he does not believe either should have been out on the streets.

“If they’re going to commit these types of crimes, they shouldn’t be out on the street,” he said. “They should be in jail, probably where they belong. Nobody deserves to be victimized by anybody.”

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