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Although not the first enclosed mall in the Rockford area (that honor goes to the now-defunct Colonial Village Mall), the Cherryvale Mall was the first large, modern mall in the area. Marshall Field's was one of the original anchor department store at the mall and was there for many years, until it was taken over by Macy's.
On December 6, 2006, 22-year-old Derrick Shareef, also known as Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef, of Rockford, was arrested for plotting a terror attack on Cherryvale Mall. According to federal authorities, Shareef planned to toss hand grenades among holiday shoppers. He met with an undercover agent in a Wal-Mart (now branded as Walmart) parking lot to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a pistol.
December 8, 2006, Shareef was charged with one count of attempting to damage or destroy a building by fire or explosion and one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald assures citizens that "while these are very serious charges, at no time was the public in any imminent peril." 
In November 2001, Richard Lewis of Rockford, Illinois handcuffed himself to the railing of the second-floor mezzanine at Cherryvale Mall, doused himself with gasoline, shouted, "freedom and liberty for all", and lit himself on fire. Two shoppers prevented the man from jumping over the second story mezzanine and in the process received second-degree burns. Lewis was flown to Loyola University Medical Center suffering burns over 40 percent of his body.