Myrtle Beach Police still counting weekend crime reports

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It could take a few days for Myrtle Beach Police to have a comprehensive look at how many crimes were reported over the Memorial Day weekend, according to police spokesman Capt. David Knipes.

He said during busy times officers often use paper forms to fill out reports because they can be quicker than entering the reports into the electronic database. It would take all of Monday and at least part of Tuesday for the police records department to finish entering all the paper reports into the database, Knipes said.

Officers estimate they responded to more than 600 calls on Saturday night alone.

"It was a little bit bike heavy. It was a little bit loud. It was a little bit rowdy," commented Amanda Stoveken who lives less than two blocks from Ocean Boulevard.

She said compared to last year there was not a good balance of activity in Myrtle Beach during the weekend. She preferred last year, when she felt there was a good mix of events in addition to bike fest and the Memorial Day parade. She pointed to the music concerts in downtown Myrtle Beach as an example.

"It was kind of unbalanced as opposed to last year, with the lack of festivals that had gone on last year to bring in a different group of tourists," she said.

Stoveken said it was easy to see officers being stretched thin over the weekend with the crowds of people on motorcycles, cruising in cars, and walking down Ocean Boulevard.

"It was frustrating sometimes watching the police get pulled away from things," she said.

From Friday at 5 p.m. to Monday at 10 a.m., preliminary reports show at least ten violent crimes, including two rapes, five robberies of people at gunpoint, an attempted robbery with shots fired, and a robbery that involved a woman being punched.

The attempted robbery involving shots fired was at the Bank of America in the 2500 block on Oak Street. All the other violent crimes were on Ocean Boulevard or less than two blocks away, between 17th Avenue South and 28th Avenue North.

There were also 18 reports of motor vehicle thefts, including passenger vehicles and motorcycles. With four exceptions, all of those thefts were reported east of Kings Highway between 30th Avenue South and 18th Avenue North.

Stoveken said she feels most crime in Myrtle Beach is among people who know each other. So she does not usually feel uneasy about reported crimes. However, she said she felt differently about the environment during Memorial Day weekend.

"You're bringing in all these people, and who knows where they're coming from, and who knows what kind of history they have, and you mix it in with the alcohol and the drinking and the craziness that goes on down there and it's bound to spill up this way," she said.

She thinks other people may share her concern. She said she expected to see more people enjoying the beach over the holiday weekend, but that was not the case.

"We went to the beach the last two days and there weren't a lot of families, a lot of kids, people you would think of going on vacation for Memorial Day, weren't here," she said.

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