It is not my intention to start mass hysteria in the Rockford area, but as a parent I would rather be informed about the shady things that are happening, and could happen to my family.

I got a sick feeling in my stomach again yesterday when I saw this post pop up on my Nextdoor app...

Nextdoor App

Obviously, this woman's post got A LOT of attention by Nextdoor users. Most of the people were thanking her for posting the warning, while others were quick to criticize her, and that annoys me.

Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Yes, Stateline citizens (myself included) may be teetering on the way-too-paranoid side, but can you blame us?  Most of the situations like these that are surfacing involve the safety of our children, so how can we not go all mama bear about it?!?

Local law enforcement have made statements regarding the recent allegations about suspicious activity in Forest Plaza, and I can't help but feel we're getting mixed signals.

The Rockford Police Department told Eyewitness News;

While the intention behind sharing is to let neighbors know what's going on in the area, it's important to use discretion when sharing to avoid 'unnecessary hysteria when false information is spread.'

While, according to WREX, Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana is;

encouraging everyone to always pay attention to your surroundings, and to be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activities. In a news release, he says people are becoming easily distracted with smartphones and other technology, which puts them at greater risk of being a victim of a crime

Both police departments make valid points. I believe we should share and report any type of behavior that makes us feel unsafe or threatened, but we should take each situation shared with a grain of salt. Each person views a situation differently, so we should make sure we're not automatically jumping to negative conclusions.

The moral of all these stories is; stay alert at all times in public and make sure everyone you care about is too.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook