Car Burglaries

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Could crime still be a deterrent, forcing many people to reconsider a move? A rash of car burglaries in a downtown apartment building has some people speaking up.

Jim Nicholson has lived at 719 North Court Street for seven years and this isn't the first time his car has been broken into.

"My car was broken into this time, and in 2001 I had a truck that was broken into, and at that time five other cars were broken into," says Jim Nicholson.

Rockford police say early Monday morning, someone entered the underground parking garage and broke into about half-a-dozen cars, popping locks and smashing windows. Most of the cars were ransacked, and various items like stereo equipment were stolen.

"Car burglaries are a major problem for us. It's a crime that happens every single day, it happens throughout the city, parking lots," says Rockford Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro.

But Nicholson says once is enough and questions the way police investigate these types of burglaries.

"Maybe I could understand them not taking fingerprints off of one car, but when there's an incident when eight or nine vehicles were broken into at one time," says Nicholson, "the officer evaluates the evidence on the scene. If there's a surface that allows them to take fingerprints, then prints are taken. The officer on the scene has the judgment and responsibility," says Iasparro.

Nicholson says a number of tenants have asked for garage surveillance cameras, something that has been brought up to the building's owner. Nicholson says incidents like this one just bring the issue of city security to the forefront.

"It certainly isn't going to add to the attractiveness of the area. People want to be able to come downtown and park their cars with some sense of security," says Nicholson.