4 purses reported stolen in Myrtle Beach in 24 hours - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

4 purses reported stolen in Myrtle Beach in 24 hours

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's that time of year: more people are visiting the area, and police are seeing more potential for crime. Four purses were reported stolen over a period of just 24 hours.

One woman recalled an incident where her friend had her purse forcibly snatched from her.

"She's still having problems with her arm," said Diane Stanislawczyk, who had a friend who once fell victim to a purse thief. "He knocked her down; took her handbag. She went to the hospital, and she's still suffering from this incident."

She is changing her habits to make sure she isn't a target. In just 24 hours, Myrtle Beach got four reports of cases similar to Stanislawczyk's friend.

While walking on Ocean Boulevard early Sunday morning, a man stopped a woman, asking her for a cigarette. She gave him one, she tells police, and continued walking towards her hotel. When she got into the hotel's elevator -the same man followed her, demanding her purse and threatening her life.

"I think women walking alone in the evening are easy prey," said Cathy Pacholek.

Police warn that in a situation like this: if you believe there is a weapon, cooperate. Use your eyes as your best defense, police say, because the better description you can give of the suspect, the better chance they have of catching him.

"It's so busy, people are everywhere," said one Myrtle Beach resident. "You could bump into someone and not know it until it's too late."

Later that same morning, police were at another hotel for a similar story. Before going to bed, a couple cracked open their balcony to let in fresh air. When they woke up, the woman's purse was missing.

"If someone really wants something, they're going to find a way to get it," Pacholek said.

Police suggest securing all entry ways into your home, hotel, or condo. While being on the 15th floor of a hotel is one thing, leaving a balcony open on a bottom level makes your property easily accessible.

There isn't just opportunity for crime in your hotel room.

"I watch around my car, around me, and I always look inside my car," Stanislawczyk said.

Two women leaving a restaurant late Sunday night told police a man came out of nowhere, pushing them and forcefully taking their purses right in the parking lot.

While you're watching the water - a criminal could be watching you. Just last night a woman told police she set her bag down to take pictures. When she went to reach for it, it was missing.

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