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Moline bar owner says recent crime puts business in a bad light

MOLINE, Illinois — The owner of Steve’s Belgrade on 16th Street said recent crimes happening near his bar have been impacting his business; but police say the crimes have been unrelated to the establishment.

Owner Steve Vance said he’s owned the bar for more than 12 years. During that time he said he has tried to improve the building and surrounding neighborhood, but a recent string of crimes have put his bar in a bad light.

Around 2:45 a.m. on Friday, June 29, Moline police said a 32-year-old man stabbed a 34-year-old man with a pocket knife during a fight in the 2400 block of 16th Street.  Vance said the two had been arguing inside the bar earlier when they were told by security to leave.

Police said this was the second encounter the two men had that evening, after having fought earlier at a different bar in another town.

About 10 days before that, a vehicle with several bullet holes was found in the bar’s parking lot.

Public Information Officer Michael Griffin, with the Moline Police Department, said those incidents had no connection with the bar, and chalks the recent events up to “bad luck.”

“The Belgrade is doing everything they can to assist us,” Griffin said. “They are not the problem and we are helping them create a safe establishment.”

Vance said these recent crimes have impacted his business, even causing some regular patrons to stop coming.  But Vance said he’s going to keep helping police to combat crime in the area.

“They’re not going to take over our establishment,” he said.

Griffin said the department is working closely with the owner to “aggressively combat criminal activity.”

Vance said his bar holds a zero tolerance for fighting.

“My goal is to make the neighborhood as safe as it can be,” Vance said. “We’ve always tried to do that.”