Man arrested after carjacking at Rockford health club

Staff Report

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man has been charged with several crimes after allegedly stealing a car at gunpoint from the parking lot of a near east-side fitness center Tuesday.

At approximately 9 p.m., officers with the Rockford Police Department were dispatched to Peak Fitness at 4304 E. State St. They say a 20-year-old man was sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot when he was approached by a male suspect armed with a handgun.

The suspect demanded the victim get out of his vehicle. The victim complied, and the suspect fled in the victim’s vehicle.

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Officers located the vehicle a short time later near Preston Street and Central Avenue and attempted to conduct a traffic stop but the suspect fled at a high rate of speed.

The unoccupied vehicle was later located on Loomis Street near South Main Street. A Rockford K-9 unit was able to track the suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Javari Conley, and found him hiding in the 1200 block of South Church Street.

Conley was taken into custody without incident. A handgun was recovered by police. No injuries were reported.

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Conley is charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated fleeing to elude, driving on a suspended license and no FOID. He’s currently lodged in the Winnebago County Jail. Bond has been set at $300,000. R.

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