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With increased threats and recent lockdowns, Illinois lawmakers are looking to strengthen security at the Capitol

With the Illinois State Capitol complex having to be locked down and evacuated at least three times in recent months, and a recent car burglary during lawmakers’ session, some are calling for extra security.

Last Thursday, state Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, urged the secretary of state to set up cameras and blue emergency phones around campus.

“So that when our staff leaves at two or three o’clock in the morning with a dead cell phone and something happens on campus, they have no place to call for help,” he said.

The next day, in the middle of the session, Cabello reported to the House of Representatives that someone had just been arrested for breaking into vehicles.

“The Secretary of State must install cameras for our safety, for your safety, for the safety of your family and everyone who visits this campus, do it and do it quickly,” he said.

Alicia M. Jones was arrested for burglary of a motor vehicle, criminal trespass to a vehicle and theft of property.

State Rep. CD Davidsmeyer, R-Murrayville, urged his colleagues to be vigilant.

“I want everyone to know that this person will probably be gone in a few hours, so make sure you lock your car now before they leave,” Davidsmeyer said.

Jones was later released from the Sangamon County Jail.

The Capitol complex has been forced to close and evacuate at least three times in recent months. State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, understands the safety concerns.

“I know there were some bomb threats made, but I think the Capitol staff handled that very well,” McClure told The Center Square.

Earlier this month, Illinois State Police charged 23-year-old Gabrielle Williams with making bomb threats against two state buildings in April.

“I want to thank our Secretary of State, the Illinois State Police and the Springfield Police Department for their cooperation in this investigation and making an arrest,” said Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias. “We take the security of the Capitol Complex and the safety of its employees, officials and visitors very seriously. We will never tolerate threats of violence and will do everything in our power to hold those responsible and accountable for their actions.”

Glenn Minnis contributed to this report.