Chamber offices robbed during blizzard

Sometime between Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 5:20 p.m. and Thursday, February 3 at 8:00 a.m. the offices of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 598 Byrne Industrial Dr., Rockford, were broken into. Chamber Executive Director Brenda Davis reported that her laptop and a variety of other items were stolen.

“It wasn’t the main office that was hit, it was my office,” Davis said. She said the Chamber has always been very security conscious, but will be even more so from now on.

Officers believe the person or persons gained access to the building through the warehouse located in the southeast end of the property. Davis said a bolt was broken, but with the heavy snowfall there were no footprints or vehicle tracks by the time the break-in was discovered.

“Police believe something spooked them and they stopped,” Davis said of the extent of the damage in the office.

Davis said vandalism took place in addition to the thefts. She said her laptop was password-protected and files were secure and backed up. “I think the police are trying to be very kind and reassuring to us at this point.”

Davis said the break-in is strange, given the Chamber office is not a place likely to have cash on hand. “I don’t have any idea why they would break in,” she said.

Davis has not yet replaced her laptop and said those who need to communicate with the Chamber should call the office at (616) 866-2000. A desktop computer and other areas of the Chamber’s offices were left undamaged. Davis said the incident remains under investigation so she is limited to the information she can share. She did say officers gave her no reason to think any other thefts or break-ins occurred during the same time frame.

“Unnerving is a good way to describe it,” Davis said. “It’s just creepy.”

If anyone has information regarding the break-in, the investigating officer is Dave Robinson of the Rockford Police Department. Call (616) 866-9557.

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