Drugs and prostitution that used to be problems plaguing 7th Street now seem to be migrating to other areas. Folks along 11th Street aren't happy about it.
Night after night employees at this Phillips 66 on 11th Street and 15th Avenue try to fight off crime. Zelma Hall, Phillips 66 Manager says, "Saturday night I was here and a guy was in the front seat, then two heads pop up and it's not too hard to guess what's going on considering she wasn't clothed. Sunday night same girl, different guy."
The parking lot becomes a safe haven for prostitution. And along with that comes drug deals and now those who gather behind the Phillips 66 are trashing the building. Zelma states, "Last night I told them to leave and they told me that this isn't my parking lot. They won't listen."
Residents that live in the neighborhood have similar tales. Bill Birkett has lived in the area for 8 years he says, "They'll hurt you. Instead of taking your money, they'll shoot you and then take your money. I get scared sometimes."
Store owners first tried to curb the problem by plastering no loitering signs all around the property. That gives police the ability to arrest on site. But in this case that's not enough since drug dealers are using the numerous pay phones outside. So police are telling businesses to cut the lines.
Zelma stated, "The phones won't ring back you can place a call but you can't get a call back. That has helped."
Sgt. John Pozzi with the Rockford Police department says, "They seem to be a magnet so they should remove them."
Phillips 66 also intends on installing surveillance cameras in the back parking lot. But what employees are really hoping for is to see some extra enforcement knowing that the police can make arrests and put the trouble makers behind bars.