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Violent crime surging in Rockford

Posted by wlpo on February 7, 2016

Rockford police say violent crimes surged last year in the northern Illinois city, driven by youth violence and crimes involving guns.

The Rockford Register Star reports Rockford saw nearly 2,500 violent crimes last year. That was 24 percent more than the previous year. Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann said Friday juvenile violent crime, including robberies and auto thefts, drove the big increase in the state’s third-largest city.

A gang of teenagers engaged in an increasingly violent series of armed robberies, car hijackings and auto thefts last spring and summer.  Arrests of juvenile suspects have filled the Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center beyond capacity with juvenile detainees sleeping on mattresses inside a gymnasium.

Mayor Larry Morrissey and others question if those charged with gun crimes are facing stiff enough punishment.

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