South Side Vandals

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

What goes on at night in one residential area in Rockford is keeping neighbors awake. These sleepless nights worrying about what vandals will take next has a group of concerned citizens speaking out about their suffering.

According to neighbors on Rockford's south side, crime is getting worse. All of these residents who live and work around Brook Street and 7th Avenue have had their home or business broken into over the past year.

Robert Ellison had his flower company vandalized on Wednesday. Ellison says thieves took more than $1,500 in antique tractors he had in one of his shops. Ellison and other residents have started a neighborhood watch group, but admit it has done little to stop the crime that seems to be running rampant in their neighborhood.

Ellison says, “It’s bad. I am angry that nothing is being done to stop it.”

Rockford Police say they have stepped up patrols in the area and acknowledge that this section of the city is a hotbed for thieves. That’s evident these residents say by the remains of stolen vehicles and boats that are dumped and burned along this stretch of railroad tracks.

Ellison says, “It's ok during the day but at night it's very dangerous around here, you can be stabbed here as well.”

With the weather getting warmer, residents in this part of the city expect crimes to get worse, but if it does, some of these owners are threatening to salvage what they can of their business and leave.


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