Hartsville Chamber raises reward to almost $25,000 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Hartsville Chamber raises reward to almost $25,000

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Hartsville, SC -

By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The reward money the Hartsville Chamber of Commerce is offering regarding a robbery two weeks ago is now double the initial amount.

The Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce is offering a whopping $24,875 for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of two suspects involved in a robbery Wednesday night. The President of the Chamber said the amount get bigger every day.

"The award speaks of the community's commitment to help one of our own through a tragedy like this," Sharman Poplava said, President of the Hartsville Chamber of Commerce. She said the chamber receives daily calls from city merchants and private citizens wanting to contribute to the fund.

Poplava said this kind of reward is not common. In the 16 years Lt. Brian Rudick has been with the Hartsville police department, he cannot recall the last time such a large award was offered.

Hartsville City Police and Fire Fighters received a 911 call from the Jack-be-nimble clothing store Wednesday evening.  Officers arrived to discover the store owner lying inside on the floor – the store had been set on fire. An initial reward of $10,000 was announced Thursday morning. That figure rose to $18,500 by Friday afternoon.

Lt. Rudick with the Hartsville police department said the call volume of the police department continues to climb as the reward continues to grow. When asked what he attributes to the increase, he responded, "It's the horrendous nature of what happened to the victim."

The Lieutenant is confident the reward will assist in helping to identity the suspects. He cannot recall the last time he heard of such a significant monetary award in the 16 years he has served in the department.

"This one goes so far above and beyond the standard crime we encounter. It's garnished some extra attention," he added.

Hartsville residents agree that the reward will encourage people with information to step forward. "Money talks," pointed out Chris Alexander. She fears those with information will not talk if this incident is gang-related, but is confident  the reward money will working the end.

"I think it's fantastic because I really believe that's the only way we're going to get any results here."

The Hartsville police department has made no arrests. No description of the suspects has been released. Lt. Rudick said the trauma suffered by the victim prevented her from giving officers a sufficiently detailed description to release to the public.

The on-going investigation is a concerted effort made by the Hartsville police department, Hartsville Fire Department, South Carolina Probation Pardon and Parole Service and the State Law Enforcement Division.

"We'll bring every asset we have to bear to solve this case," Lt. Rudick added.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Hartsville Police Department at (843) 383-3013 or the state Crime Stoppers hotline at (888) CRIME SC (274-6372). Callers need not reveal their identities.

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