WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – It doesn’t matter where we live, whether it’s the city of Rockford or somewhere else in Winnebago County, law enforcement officers say we’re safer today than we were last year.
“Every time I come in here, I’m always watching my back and when I come, I see if someone comes after me. It’s worried me a lot.”
Mohamad Alkabsh, who owns Mosy’s on West State Street, greets his customers with a smile, but also with a watchful eye. That’s because back in Marc, two armed robbers stormed the store with guns blazing. An employee shot back, hitting one of the robbers.
“You’ve got to be cautious, you’ve got to be careful every time.”
There are now more cameras and signs inside the store. The Mosy’s robbery was one of 13 in unicorporated Winnebago County last year. The Sheriff’s Department says that’s a 31% drop from 2012. Overall, crime is down 24%, with drops in every category of violent crime except homicides which held steady and aggravated assault, which was up 9%.
Despite the positive results, Sheriff Meyers says there’s more work to do.
“We still have a heck of a problem here to deal with and we can’t get into a false sense of security because some numbers are going down in particular areas,” Meyers said.
The department credits the drop to the Text a Tip and Stop, Knock, and Talk programs, both launched last year.
Alkabsh says it doesn’t matter what deputies are doing as long as crime keeps dropping.
“I’m happy with their work and what they accomplish. They’re great,” Alkabsh said.
Sheriff Meyers says the biggest problem right now is drugs. The county collected more than $15 million worth of drugs in bust last year.
Marijuana led the way in those busts, but Meyers says meth is starting to grow in popularity in the Stateline.