Police warn vacationers to mind valuables

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Keep your friends close, and your checkbook closer. That's what some spring breakers may be thinking following recent purse snatching incidents in the Grand Strand.

A Myrtle Beach police report says that officers responded to a reported purse snatching at Broadway at the Beach early Tuesday morning where a female victim told police someone had taken her bag in the parking lot near Carlos and Charlie's.

The victim stated that she and a friend were walking through the parking lot when they were approached by a tall, dark-skinned male wearing a black and red hoodie and torn jeans. She claims he ran up behind them, pushed his shoulder into her and forced her purse to fall to the ground.

The suspect them reportedly took the purse and fled on foot.

The black purse, according to the victim, was valued at $50 and contained $50 in cash, $100 worth of makeup, her driver's license, a lighter, a wallet and a cell phone.

Officers with the Myrtle Beach Police Department say crimes like this one are more crimes of opportunity than anything else, and there are no areas that see robberies spike during busy tourist seasons. Because the crimes can happen at any time, they say the best way to protect yourself is to be constantly on alert.

"I usually try to keep my possessions on me," said Spring Breaker Ray Ann Robinson. "That way if I did actually end up losing my purse, those things would not be in there."

But police say small items are equally enticing to thieves, and can be snatched away any time an unsuspecting victim isn't watching.

"People leave behind backpacks, pocketbooks, glasses, cell phones for sure," said Oz Rodriguez of Marvin's Grill and Chill. Oz said people often get up from their seat to use the restroom or smoke a cigarette and leave their valuables unattended. While he says the staff try to keep an eye on everyone's possessions, they can't be everywhere at once.

Myrtle Beach Police say other than keeping a close eye on your valuables and minding your surroundings, security in numbers is the best way to ward off any potential thieves.

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