Robbers Targeting Senior Citizens, Group Homes Downtown

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Criminals are targeting group homes in downtown Rockford, robbing unsuspecting senior citizens.

Residents living at 505 North Main, 511 North Church and 707 North Court Streets are on the look out for strong arm robbers: criminals who don't have weapons, but who snatch purses or steal money from people on the street.

Police say there was a spike in strong armed robberies to elderly and disabled residents living downtown Rockford in these group homes. The criminals would typically approach a senior citizen and ask for money. Robbers are approaching many at-risk residents: people who wouldn't be able to testify in court or who might forget what the suspect looked like.

Police are making the rounds at these group homes and talking to senior citizens, making sure they know what's going on and giving them tips on how to protect themselves. One person is in custody for some of the robberies and police say they haven't had as many problems since he was arrested.

Question: what can these people do to protect themselves?
Answer: Don't carry any money or credit cards that you won't need. Make sure your social security check is directly deposited into your bank account so you aren't carrying around checks and be suspicious of anyone who asks you for help or money. As much as you may want to help be aware that it might be a scam.

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  • by Randy Location: Chicago S/W side on Jun 14, 2012 at 07:42 AM
    Unarmed sheep make the very best prey. Without descending into bumper sticker slogans, Illinois needs to get with the other 49 States and recognize that ALL Amendments to the Constitution apply to ALL law abiding citizens,including the 2nd.
  • by bob Location: crackford on Jun 14, 2012 at 06:59 AM
    how come are moronic government has not made a new law that any type of robbery armed robbery 25 years to life this will make people think 25 years for 20 buck maybe more maybe less ohh and if elderly or disable life or take the gas chamber they need to put a huge reason for this type of crime to be stopped lets make a law that makes sense now. i would support this law and hey if a person has a choice life in prison or can have there life put to an end by a needle why not if a murder want to be put down then do it! save us tax payers money and if a child molester should be tortured and kept alive for a few years for that person real mean sick torture that make them sickos think before they hurt another kid then have 5 years of horrible torture put them on the hanging tree laws should be made to make you not want to do this type of crimes. of course this would make sense and we know how well are government makes sense.
  • by milk4me Location: Cisne on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM
    So it looks like maybe Wisconsin's concealed carry law is driving the miscreants to the only remaining state where they have free reign. Wake up ILGA, we need to protect ourselves now more than ever.
  • by Carol Location: Rockford on Jun 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM
    My brother in law lives in one of these group homes. He and his fellow residents are mentally ill. I don't think concealed carry is an option that would be helpful.
    • reply
      by milkforme on Jun 14, 2012 at 06:34 AM in reply to Carol
      The beauty of concealed carry is that the criminals never know who is or isn't carrying. Granted, it's likely they'd realize your BIL can't carry...but it's also likely they wouldn't be so bold if they fear other citizens carrying on a daily basis.
  • by Bart Location: Chicago on Jun 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
    Just a few days ago a retired Navy Veteran was stalked and violently robbed as well. When is Illinois going to allow its lawabiding citizens protect themselves? Contact your local legislators and tell them they need to get with the program and start allowing illinios citizens to carry and protect themselves!!!
  • by Luke Location: Des Plaines on Jun 13, 2012 at 03:50 PM
    Let's see. The ACLU forbids the police from profiling any suspects lurking around senior citizen housing. And Illinois prohibits our 2nd Amendment Right To Carry. Oh, and the economy is "not fine". Get used to more beat-downs people.
  • by Buzz Location: Freeeport on Jun 13, 2012 at 03:38 PM
    Isn't it time to let our citizens defend themselves? Illinois is now the ONLY state that doesn't allow their citizens to carry a concealed firearm! Please spare us the "Wild West" speeches because blood isn't running in the streets of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin or any other state where carry is allowed. Legalize concealed carry in Illinois NOW!!
  • by whosawmike Location: Peoria on Jun 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
    A concealed carry law might go a little further than putting a direct deposite on your SS checks. Just saying
  • by SurrenderNeverMore Location: Chicago on Jun 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
    So how is this going to save you from a beating? If you have money, you're beaten for having it. If you have no money, you're beaten because you have no money.
  • by Steve Location: Rockford on Jun 13, 2012 at 02:33 PM
    I would like to hear the Mayor explain how less cops on the department are going to stop this sort of thing from happening.
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