MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Homeowners in one quiet, residential section of Ocean Boulevard say they're beginning to see an increase in the number of homeless and transient individuals in their area, as well as a higher number of burglaries and thefts.
"Around 10:30 at night, we saw an intoxicated man in the park," said homeowner Rebecca McMillan. "There wasn't a disruption, but it was definitely unusual."
McMillan says she and her family have noticed an uptick in theft and burglary in the residential stretch of Ocean Boulevard, they themselves falling victim to an opportunistic thief.
"We had a yard trailer, with a riding lawn mower in it, just disappear from our driveway," she said. "We're not sure if it was in the evening or the daytime, but we came home and it was missing."
"Look at these beach houses," says neighbor Patrick Carroll. "It doesn't look like anyone's in them. That's an opportunity for thieves to come in, just take what they want, and leave."
McMillan says she still regards her neighborhood as safe, despite recent thefts. She blames the economy, saying these types of crimes aren't just happening on Ocean Boulevard.
"I've been talking to friends," McMillan said. "There's break-ins all over, as well as here."