Rockford neighborhood targeted by serial rapist adding more security

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Rockford residents remain on high alert after police released details of where a series of home invasions and rapes have been happening over the last 12 months.

Charmaine Longwood has been a resident in Rockford’s Coronado-Haskell neighborhood for 20 years. When she first learned that a potential serial rapist was breaking into homes and attacking women in the city, she was worried.

“I was very alarmed and very surprised to hear about something of this nature, because I’ve never heard of a crime of this extent before,” she said. “I had some great concerns about what was going on. I wanted to know details about what the person might look like, what they may be wearing.”

On Monday, Rockford Police released new details in the case, including a sketch of the suspect and a geographic area in which the rapes have occurred.

Sketch of the serial rape suspect, released by Rockford Police.

The Coronado-Haskell neighborhood falls entirely within that perimeter.

The neighborhood association will hold a meeting on Wednesday morning, and Longwood says the neighborhood’s Community Resource Officer will be there.

“Officer Burke plans to attend, as he does every month, to give us an update on the situation,” she said. “He’ll be on hand to answer any questions our neighbors may have.”

Longwood says she is working with the non-profit organization Jeremiah Development and the Community Action Agency to secure funding to purchase 125 solar motion-detection lights for the area.

“In the past, the City of Rockford has had to take out a lot of street lights, so the neighborhood is dark,” said Jeremiah Development Executive Director Sue Kanthak.

Residents will be able to sign up to get the lights in April.

“People can register for the lighting and have something to work with their landlords with, in order to remedy this situation and improve crime overall in this area,” Longwood said.

Authorities say if a resident sees someone who looks like the suspect depicted in the sketch, they should call police.

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