Community hopes for change with prostitution problem

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Police arrested a woman Saturday afternoon and charged her with prostitution and trespassing. Officers arrested Rebecca Sommer Thor, 23, of Myrtle Beach in the Pine Island Townhomes community off Pine Island Rd. on Low Country Place.

They also arrested Donald Lyons, 68, of Myrtle Beach, and charged him with trespassing.

According to the police report, someone in the community called to report the two sitting in a station wagon at the dead end of Low Country Place. The report also said Thor told police she was working south Ocean Blvd. when Lyons picked her up.

The report also mentioned previous concerns about prostitution and trespassing from people who live in the Pine Island Townhomes community.

"The residents of the this development have called numerous times about this type of activity and often find used condoms and trash at this location," the report read. "The development is a MBPD TEAP [Trespass Enforcement Authorization Program] member and has requested assistance with this situation."

The homes in the community are all along Low Country Place, but the back end is not developed, and some say it is the perfect hideout for people up to no good. Gary Conklin said it has become a haven for prostitution.

"It's a dead end there, so that's why they're using it," Conklin said. "They think they can get away with it."

Conklin's son lives in the neighborhood, so he has heard a lot about the problem. He said fortunately Myrtle Beach Police have responded to concerns.

"It's great that the police department is acting on it, and they have made a few arrests in this area in reference to the prostitution going on here," Conklin said.

Conklin said he and others have noticed more police patrolling the area also. Along with the arrests, he hopes more police presence in the neighborhood will send a message to others.

"It's a shame that people conduct business in that manner here," he said. "It's not right for people to do something like this in this area."

Some homeowners say the community may add a gate at the entrance. The gate would prevent trespassing and eliminate the need for police patrols.

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