A Rockford bar became a crime scene Wednesday when it was targeted in an armed robbery.
Patrons were enjoying a quiet night when they were suddenly interrupted by two armed gunmen, demanding customers to get down on the ground and the bartender to open the register.
Tim Rowe, the owner of the Savoy Lounge said, “Two gentlemen came in the side door. One went to the gaming machines and accosted one of my patrons that was on the gaming machine. The other went straight to the bar. They were telling everybody to get down on the floor.”
He says that while one suspect immediately went to the cash register, the other chased a patron trying to get away.
“My one patron that ran from here lives very close by, and he ran to his home with this guy in pursuit, and I think he got some money off of him as well,” Rowe said.
According to the website CrimeMapping.com, the area has seen about 10 incidents within four blocks of the bar in the last month, including burglaries and assaults.
“We had a minor incident, I don’t know, six or eight months ago that required police attention, but this is the first time anybody has come in the place with guns drawn, demanding money,” Rowe said.
Despite neighborhood crime, at least one resident says they’ve seen a decrease in bar-related incidents over the last few years.
“[We saw more] before Sports Page became Dusty Boots,” said David Sarver, a neighbor. “And now, since it’s Dusty Boots, crime has dropped, but we still get arguments at the Big Foot Lounge, so it’s kind of unusual that Savoy gets in trouble.”
Rowe hopes to keep incidents like these to a minimum. He already has eight security cameras installed throughout the Savoy Lounge. Now, he plans on increasing his security.
“[We’re] installing more security video. I don’t have any outside coverage. As of, possibly, tomorrow, or the very latest, next Tuesday, we will have outside coverage,” Rowe said.
Rockford Police have the security footage from the cameras in the bar and are working to ensure the suspects are caught.