Myrtle Beach area plagued by string of burglaries

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Businesses and restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area have fallen victim to burglars, leaving some to wonder what makes them such a target and who could be behind this latest string of crimes.

Three businesses were burglarized Sunday morning in Myrtle Beach, merely 24 hours after the armed robbery of two resorts on Ocean Boulevard that police say may have been connected.

Two of the businesses struck Sunday morning were in the same building.

The Dunkin Donuts and Wings Beachwear store on South Kings Highway are separated by a false wall. According to the police report, an employee arrived at the store around 8:30 Sunday morning and noticed coins were missing from the open safe on the counter.

When the employee alerted police to the alleged burglary of the store, officers were advised that the Dunkin Donuts at that address had been burglarized earlier in the night. Security surveillance from the beachwear store showed a black male crawling across the floor of the store and removing items from the safe.

The suspect appeared to be wearing a red sweatshirt, blue jeans, white sneakers, light colored gloves and a white mask over his face in the video. The time on the video showed the male in the store at 2:18 a.m. but the employee informed officers the time was 36 minutes fast. The suspect was in the store around 1:42 a.m.

Officers had responded to a reported burglary at the adjacent Dunkin Donuts several hours earlier. A delivery driver had noticed items on the floor of the business and alerted an employee who contacted police around 3 a.m. Video surveillance recorded two suspects entering the business, and the whole incident was recorded and reviewed by police.

According to the police report, the video showed the suspects entering the business through the drive-thru window, using a crowbar to break the lock.

It appeared that the suspects knew the business was monitored by video surveillance, the report stated, as the two suspects knelt down and maneuvered through the building. The suspects split up trying to force open the registers on the counter, and also took cash from a safe. The amount of cash the suspects took is unknown, but all registers and the safe were damaged and must be replaced.

The two suspects were described as white males in their mid to late twenties based on the video provided. The first wore a red hoodie, jeans, white sneakers, gloves and a white ski mask. The second suspect wore a black hoodie, khaki jeans, dark sneakers, white gloves and a ski mask.

In a similar set of circumstances, the Taco Bell on North Kings Highway was reportedly burglarized overnight.

Officers responded to the Taco Bell to find that the business that been broken in to by way of the drive-thru window. According to the police report, cash registers at the front counter and window had been damaged but nothing had been taken.

Video surveillance showed that a suspect forced entry into the business using a crowbar to break the drive-thru window shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday morning. The suspect is seen leaving and returning six minutes later.

The video showed the suspect, who may have been wearing glasses, leave again and return around 3:45 a.m. with another suspect, who is seen talking on his cell phone.

Both suspects are seen pacing through the store before exiting through the drive-thru window, but not before looking at the surveillance camera and breaking it.

From this surveillance video, the two suspects in the Taco Bell burglary are described as white males wearing ski masks. One of the two suspects wore a light colored hooded sweatshirt and tennis shoes. The other suspect was wearing a sweatshirt with an undistinguishable symbol on the back, but with the number '1997.'

WMBF News Reporter Mark Meredith has obtained video surveillance from two of three businesses struck by burglars Sunday morning and will have more details on WMBF News at 6.

Anyone with information about these suspects or any of these crimes should contact Myrtle Beach Police.

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