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Mattoon man arrested for armed robbery of St. Peter bank

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

A Mattoon man who allegedly robbed the bank in St. Peter at gunpoint on Tuesday was in Fayette County Jail on Wednesday awaiting the filing of formal charges.

W. Kelly Campbell, 39, of Mattoon, is in jail on pending charges of armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon after he allegedly surrendered to authorities without incident shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to the Illinois State Police, a man obtained an undisclosed amount of money at First State Bank of St. Peter after presenting a gun to a bank employee.

An off-duty St. Peter police officer began pursuing the man immediately after the robbery, according to state police.

The chase proceeded north, with the alleged robber traveling north on the Altamont blacktop to Interstate 70, where he headed west.

Among those joining in on the chase on Interstate 70, which was shut down to traffic, was Fayette County sheriffs deputy Shawn Carter.

Carter said he pulled behind the vehicle driven by the alleged robber, and near the 56-mile marker west of Vandalia near Hurricane Creek Campell turned on his vehicles hazard lights and pulled to the side of the road as he (Carter) drove along the left rear of Campbells vehicle.

When Campbell stopped, Carter pulled his squad car to the front of his vehicle, and State Police officer Steve Knebel pulled to the rear of the vehicle.

Carter negotiated with Campbell for about 20-25 minutes for a peaceful surrender, and Campbell was taken into custody without incident, Carter said.

In addition to St. Peter Police, Fayette County Sheriffs Office and state police, agencies participating in the pursuit and capture of the alleged robber were Altamont Police, Vandalia Police and Illinois Secretary of State Police.