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.