ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Police have announced charges against two men, who are still at large, in connection to a jewelry store looting that occurred following a protest against police brutality in Rockford last May.
According to police, officers were called to Soto’s Jewelry, located at 3504 E. State St. at the Fairview Shopping Center, in the late hours of May 30th, 2020, where the front windows were shattered and multiple jewelry items had been stolen.
Several stores were vandalized following the “Rockford Stands with Minneapolis” protest, which occurred after the murder of George Floyd.
The protest started at Haskell Park, but thousands of protesters then marched through downtown Rockford, stopping at the Winnebago County Justice Center before continuing on to Rockford Police District 1 Headquarters.
Vandals ripped apart the police marquee and threw rocks at the building. Police and SWAT eventually cleared the protestors out around 11pm with tear gas.
As the night progressed, several storefronts in the city were met with smashed windows and looting.
Police said at least a dozen looters broke into Soto’s overnight. Detectives were able to identify two suspects, Maurice Buchanan, 24, and Donnie Purifoy, 28.
Both men have been charged with Burglary and are currently still at large.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Rockford Police at 815-966-2900 or by leaving an anonymous tip with Rockford Area Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867 or via the Tip 411 app.