Downtown Dubuque robbery worries some - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Downtown Dubuque robbery worries some

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by Jamie Grey

Dubuque (KWWL) -- A downtown Dubuque mugging has some people asking the city for more police protection. In mid-September, a 47-year-old man was assaulted and robbed outside of the Ecumenical Tower apartment building in Dubuque. Now, his fiance is asking for more downtown patrols.

"Bill had his back turned, and the guy came right in back of him with a knife and said, 'give me your wallet'," Shirley Schroeder said.

Schroeder said after her fiance's late-night attack she's terrified.

"I won't go outside by myself," Schroeder said.

Now, she's turned her terror into action. She's talked to neighbors, written a letter to the editor, and is now going to city council with a speech.

Police arrested Korey S McGhee for the mugging, charging him with first degree robbery. Mcghee is still in the Dubuque County Jail. Police say several factors helped them track down their suspect, including detailed witness accounts the night of the mugging. Another key factor: surveillance video from the Ecumenical Tower. Management installed the surveillance camera a year ago and say this incident proved the equipment's worth.

Police assert this mugging on 6th Street was an isolated incident.

"One crime does not make a wave that requires a specific police officer on that block. We're never going to have the funding to put a police officer on every block," Assistant Chief Terry Tobin said. Tobin also said there are always officers specifically assigned to downtown Dubuque.

Since the robbery, apartment managers have put several new security measures in place, including extra outdoor lighting, new locks and keys on doors, and building a locked patio area for smokers. The apartment has used security guards periodically in the past, and there are 24 hour maintenance people that can help residents any time. Police are also coming to talk to residents.

"I don't think they should be worried. I think they should come to the meeting when the police come to talk about common sense things to do to protect yourself because society's not perfect, so there are things that can happen and there's some simple things they can do to protect themselves," housing administrator Steve Jacobs said.

Even with improvements, Schroeder says what she really wants is security guards or more police officers downtown.

While police say this robbery was an isolated case, they have seen a spike in the number of robberies around Dubuque in the past year. But they add, they've also had increased arrests.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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