Peoria Police announced new tools available to track crime in local neighborhoods, Friday night.
Chief Lorren Marion said they want to roll out a three step process when neighborhood crimes happen:
These new practices come on the heels of a police-community meeting held on February, 20. The meeting hosted by councilman Chuck Grayeb gave residents a chance to learn more about a string of violent robberies in central Peoria. Friday, police said they had not received any similar violent robbery reports since that community meeting took place. Chief Marion credits the public for that.
“We’ve been getting a lot of support from the community and that is key,” he said.
Lt. Boland said there are four incidents like that they’re most concerned about.
“The nature is the problem, because of the violence associated with it,” said Boland.
Boland said those violent incidents happened in the center bluff neighborhood during February. He believes the robber is a “lone wolf,” targeting the elderly and frail. In each case, a man approached the victims in their driveway, violently attacking them, then entering their home or garage to steal things. Boland said the victims recovered from their injuries and they are still looking for the thinly built man behind the those crimes.
Police are also looking for persons of interests in other non-violent, armed robberies. Boland said the City of Peoria has seen approximately 20 robberies in February. He said the average number of robberies per month is about 20-23.
The other February robberies include a variety of scenarios, and police said they believe the crimes are being committed by groups of young people. Police said all these crimes included threats with a handgun:
Police hope their new tools will help crack down on crimes like these. Though police said they arrested four juveniles last month in connection with some robberies, they were released, and are now persons of interest in other cases. Police still can’t prove they have any involvement at all to the new crimes.
“There’s probably several little crews of friends that get together and do this,” said Lt. Boland.
Boland said it’s not gang-related activity, because the groups of young people are evolving too often.
Police gave some advice for people to protect themselves. They said to be aware of your surroundings when going to and from your vehicle, especially at home. Before you get out of the car, keep your doors locked, look behind trees and house corners to make sure you’re not being watched. Police said if you’re approached at your vehicle, lock the doors immediately and drive away if you can. If you’re caught by a robber the best thing to do is comply, but if you must fight for your life police said, “by all means do so.”
To learn more about the new alert resources offered by Peoria Police, you can watch this tutorial video, and others on their Facebook page:
CodeRED notifications are available to all Peoria County residents! Please watch this short tutorial on how to receive alerts.
Posted by Peoria Police Department on Friday, March 1, 2019