Burglaries in Rural Illinois.. Changing Towns and Changing Lives - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Burglaries in Rural Illinois.. Changing Towns and Changing Lives

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Some moved there to get away from the daily grind. 

Some moved there for the sense of security. 

Some have lived here their entire lives. 

But now, crime is several small Illinois towns in threatening a way of life.

Since early December there have been dozens of crimes, 30 in Altona alone, a town of 550 people. 

And just 10 miles away, in Galva, there have been 20 more. 

Investigators believe the crimes in Knox County are connected and are currently following several leads but for the people living in these communities, they are wondering how to get back to normalcy, if that's possible. 

"The whole way of living has changed. For the first time in 19 years, we locked up our house," says Becky Holland of Altona, "It's just become a whole new way of living."

Becky and her husband own Altona TBA, a small mechanic shop in Altona. 

They've lived here for 20 years,, raising three kids, enjoying the trusting nature of a small community. 

But now, after the string of burglaries, the way the town feels is changing. 

"It makes you feel violated," she adds, "Like they've taken your sense of security away from you and it makes you angry. The ability to just leave things out and go peacefully... It's all gone."

And Becky isn't alone. 

Many are saying that whoever did these crimes is taking advantage of people who, at one point, felt comfortable leaving their doors unlocked, even overnight. 

"It's a huge break of trust, " says Jackie Clukas of Galva, "We all would do anything to help each other anytime, any day and when someone is violated like this.. It's a big part of what's going on."

For now these towns will try to move on, but for many, they are left with their nerves on edge. 

Holland says, "Everyone is standing in a different matter now. Everyone is prepared for the worst. Little noises outside have you going to look. The dog barks and you pop up and see why that dog is barking. It used to not be this way."

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