Nearly a Dozen Armed Robbery Suspects Arrested

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A local business owner says he feels safer after being robbed at gunpoint on the city's Northwest Side, thanks to a new approach by Rockford Police.

New security alarms and remote controlled locks are a few changes Mahandra Patel has made to his shop, The Tobacco Outlet on North Main.

Patel says he hopes the upgrades will keep him safe. A few weeks ago, Patel started down the barrel of a gun pointed at him as a robber stole hundreds of dollars.

"I put my new security in and then I feel good," said Patel.

Rockford police say they arrested 11 people during "Operation Hydra."

Many of those suspected of armed robberies within a two week period.

"Same time, yea."

The detail is a new tactic being used by officers. Instead of adding patrols in a high crime area. Detectives hone in on gang members and suspected criminals.

One of the men arrested during "Operation Hydra" is 32-year-old Lonell Taylor. He's charged with armed robbery of the Subway on Main and Riverside.

Officers believe he's linked to 5 other robberies along Main Street.

Although Patel isn't sure if Taylor is linked to his store's robbery, he says he feels safer thanks to "Operation Hydra."

"Now I'm feeling a little bit okay because then police find out the person, so now it's good," said Patel.

Although officers have arrested nearly a dozen people, detectives say they are still continuing this operation.

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