UPDATED: Rockford Police Continue Search Following Morning Carjackings
The Rockford Police Department has released new details of an overnight crime spree that led to a massive search earlier Monday morning.
According to a press release, a pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint early this morning while he was walking near the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Grace Street. Around that time a vehicle also was stolen from the 1700 block of Brown Avenue. The vehicle later was recovered around 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Hershey Manor at 1800 North Main Street. Police say a witness observed three young black males walking away from the car into the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, around 1 a.m. this morning a female was sitting in her car in the parking lot of the Schnuck's grocery store in Cherry Valley when two teenaged black males approached her car with a handgun. The suspects stole the vehicle and fled the scene. Approximately fifteen minutes later authorities were called to the Alpine Inn near East State Street and Alpine for a car fire. Officers discovered that the burning car was the car that had just been stolen in Cherry Valley. No suspects were located.
Additionally, at 2:30 a.m. a female employee of Rockford Health Systems was followed as she entered the parking lot at 2400 North Rockton Avenue to go to work. As she exited her car she was approached by two younger black males, one armed with a handgun. These subjects had been in a dark colored Audi SUV. The suspects stole the victim's red Pontiac G8 and both cars fled the scene. Fifteen minutes later Rockford Police officers located both of these vehicles on North Central Avenue.
The dark colored Audi SUV crashed at West Jefferson Street and Horace Avenue. One juvenile male was located and was taken into custody. It was determined that this juvenile was wanted on a juvenile probation warrant and he was transported to the Public Safety Building. Officials found that the Audi SUV had been reported stolen on June 5 from the 200 block of 15th Avenue.
According to a press release, officers continued to track the red Pontiac and encountered it in the 800 block of Hartford. As an officer exited his squad car, three young black exited the Pontiac. The front seat passenger was armed with a handgun and the rear seat passenger, who appeared to be 12-to-13 years old, was armed with some type of long gun. The subject with the long gun swung the gun and pointed it at the officer from a distance of approximately twenty feet. This subject then turned and all three fled on foot behind the homes. The officer did not fire his weapon but radioed for assisting units to set up a perimeter in the neighborhood.
It appeared that all three subjects ran into a heavily wooded area west of the location. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department assisted in setting up a perimeter and with the use of their K-9. During the search officers heard one shot fired in the immediate area. The Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition helicopter was activated and assisted in the search of the wooded area, but no suspects were located.
Officials believe all of these incidents appear to involve suspects who were connected to the eight juveniles and one young adult who were arrested on June 1, as well as potential new suspects. The Rockford Police is urging anyone who knows the identities of these young suspects to please contact the Rockford Police Department or Crime Stoppers.
The community is urged to be mindful of your surroundings, report suspicious activity and never leave you keys in an unattended vehicle. Officials say further arrests are imminent.
ORIGINAL POST BELOW
Rockford Police are continuing the search for three teenagers wanted in connection with a series of Monday morning carjackings.
According to our partners at Eyewitness News, officials say they captured one of four teenagers. Three more reportedly remain at large and might be armed and dangerous.
Eyewitness News reports that authorities responded to the area of Springfield and Cunningham early this morning. Witnesses say police with K-9 dogs entered the neighborhood nearby with guns drawn and combed through a wooded area.
Police are expected to release more details soon. We'll update the story when possible.