Police: Higher crime rate in May due to large crowds

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Horry County Police officers said we have already had four deaths related to biker accidents during this year's bike week. That is why many officers said they are out on the street to keep people safe.

Lieutenant Keith Strickland with the Horry County Police Department said the higher crime rate is directly related to the influx of hundreds of people we are seeing here along the Grand Strand.

Lt. Strickland said, "It's typical for Horry County to be this busy with the traffic and also unfortunately with the crime rates going up during the month of May."

Lt. Strickland added, "Higher proportions of drunk driving events, unfortunately, public intoxication events, larcenies."

According to Myrtle Beach Police reports, more than ten people were arrested for DUI and more than 30 for public intoxication over a period of two days within the city limits of Myrtle Beach.

Many Grand Strand visitors said they say no to drinking and driving. Harold Kennington said, "It's jeopardizing everybody out there…somebody else in a car or a motorcycle.  So I don't even take that chance. I leave my bike right where it's at, and I'll call a cab or a friend come and get me."

Another major safety concern police have seen this past week is reckless driving. Lt. Strickland said, "It's a very hefty fine. If I'm not mistaken it's over a $1,000 fine not to mention the six point violation placed against your driver's license."

Another crime that rises is theft.  According to police reports several people have discovered laptops and cell phones missing from their hotel rooms. That's why many Grand Strand visitors said they are proactive to keep their belongings safe.

Dave Arko said, "Leave your real valuable valuables at home and take really just the essentials. Minimize your credit cards that you're bringing with you."

Police officers said the numbers this year along the Grand Strand appear to be one of the largest they have seen. Lt. Strickland added, "From what I personally saw it seems as though we had a larger crowd in town specifically for the bike rally event this year as opposed to last year."

And with those higher numbers comes the need for more law enforcement keeping people safe. Arko added, "Them going up and down the street and even in the shopping centers that helps. That makes you feel better about coming and spending your vacation down here too."

Police said they have also seen a lot of road rage happening in our area which can lead to serious accidents.

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