Rockford police arrest a juvenile for allegedly vandalizing and stealing cars at a local dealership, but while a suspect is in custody, the dealership owner says the cost of fixing the damage could drive him out of business.
In just one week three cars are vandalized, two of which are then stolen at Prestige Motors on Broadway.
“It makes me sick," says dealership owner, Dennis Edwards.
The cars have been recovered and police have nabbed a suspect, but Edwards is still left picking up the pieces.
"I can't sell them now until I get them fixed. It's a big nuisance,” says Edwards.
And for small business owners like Edwards, fixing one car in this condition, let alone three, comes at a steep cost that could jeopardize his business.
"You don't make that much money, we're just a small, small business and to have these kind of losses is overwhelming. You can’t recoup money like this. It's unbelievable," says Edwards.
Unfortunately, Edwards is not alone. About 10 cars have been stolen recently in the area near the Prestige car lot, and last year about 1,200 cars were stolen in the Rockford area. Sometimes even security cameras and fences like at Prestige Motors are not enough to keep thieves away.
"There's probably nothing else he can do. It sounds to me this person is doing everything he can do. I can't get into a criminal's mind," says Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro.
But Edwards hopes speaking out will make more people near his dealership aware of the problem, putting more eyes and ears on the lookout for anything suspicious.
Iasparro says thus far, police are not connecting the juvenile in custody for the incident at Prestige Motors to the other 10 stolen cars in that area.