Standing room only as Rockford residents question police about - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Standing room only as Rockford residents question police about recent violence

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Sharon & Dennis Peterson Sharon & Dennis Peterson
Lt. Marc Welsh Lt. Marc Welsh
Scene of the Imperial Oaks Drive Home Invasion Scene of the Imperial Oaks Drive Home Invasion
ROCKFORD (WREX) -

More than 100 Northeast Rockford residents pack into a church sanctuary demanding answers. People are up in arms after recent violence in their area of the city.

Last week, Jack and Colleen Holmbeck, who live on Imperial Oaks Drive, were victims of a home invasion. Both were hurt, Jack got shot. While the Holmbeck's recover, their friends and neighbors rally and police ask for cooperation.

"This is not the kind of area that you expect somebody to have that violent of a home invasion. It's very scary." -says Sharon Peterson and her husband, Dennis, who live in the area.

Lieutenant Marc Welsh with the Rockford Police Department says some home invasions involve those who have committed crimes, for example, people robbing a dealer's house to steal drugs, but the victims on Imperial Oaks Drive were complete strangers to their attackers.

"Your calls really make a difference, call in suspicious activity that will really help us solve our crimes." -he advises citizens.

But, the Peterson's say they need something from police too.

"They're working hard they're doing everything they can, but they've got to do a better job communicating with the citizens." -Dennis says.

Officers and residents say there are tips to keep this from happening to you in the first place.

"Porch lights are staying on longer, garage doors always closed, doors are always locked even when we're home or we're not home. Keep your grass mowed, bring in your trash cans, just all the little things you wouldn't think of to do to make people think you're home." -says Megan Kirkham, who lives just a couple houses down from the Holmbeck's.

Investigators are still searching for the two suspects in the home invasion. They're both black males in their upper teens, last seen driving a white sedan with large chrome wheels. Detectives say Colleen Holmbeck is back at home. Her husband Jack is expected to be okay, but neighbors say he's still in he hospital.

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