A huge increase in burglaries by is taking place across rural Illinois towns near the Quad Cities, and now citizens are facing another threat.

According to WQAD, residents are becoming extremely concerned after many homes and businesses have been robbed lately in Whiteside County, IL. Sheriffs are saying the upswing in crime is due to drug users becoming more desperate for money.

"In order for people to get their drugs, they are stealing everything that isn't tied down," Sheriff Wilhelmi said. "We are having a lot of problems with break-ins, theft of property in barns and farmsteads, things like that."

In addition to the rise in burglary, several teen girls in the North Morrison, IL area have reportedly been followed by a suspicious white van recently. One teen was approached by two men in the van, who took off after her father approached. In total, seven people have contacted the Sheriff's office about the van. It is not known if there's a connection between any of the burglaries and the vehicle.

Sheriff Wihelmi says not to hesitate to call if you spot the white van in the area or notice any other unusual activity.

"Give us a call," Sheriff Wihelmi said. "Get some information. If you see a car, get a description of the people, get a license plate number if you can."