By Elizabeth Matthews
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - A woman was robbed at gunpoint in downtown Belleville and now the police chief is speaking out about it. It happened last Thursday night in a parking lot when the victim had just sat down in her car.
The victim says she had just closed her car door, when the suspect opened it pointed a gun towards her and demanded her purse. Now the police chief says both suspects have been caught.
"She did nothing wrong, this is just a person who took advantage of this young lady," said Chief William Clay.
The suspects got off with the victim's purse and cell phone.
It took the Belleville Police Department less than 24 hours to catch the suspect in last week's crime. Brandon Goff, 19, is charged with armed robbery. Now the chief says with some good police work the second suspect is in custody.
"Belleville, you think of it as just your normal hometown place, this kind of stuff doesn't happen in Belleville," said Marcie Adams.
She is right, according to the Chief Clay. This brash and random criminal behavior just doesn't happen.
"We have not experienced this type of crime in Belleville and I don't have the numbers in front of me, but obviously it caught my attention enough to make me want to talk about it," he said.
Tuesday night at a Main Street meeting the chief discussed this crime and recent patterns and told the crowd that crime levels in Belleville have stayed pretty consistent.
Downtown business owners are not concerned about the crime in their district. Geri Boyer says she's happy with the police department's response.
"I live downtown and I also have my business down here and so I am out at night late, walking my dogs and I am never fearful," said Boyer.
Adams says this one incident is not going to keep her away from her town.
"I always really feel safe in Belleville, I think it's just those random times when things happen and it's just unfortunate that they happen in our small community," said Adams.
The Belleville Police Department also has a "nightlife detail" patrol that patrols certain areas Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights including the downtown district.