MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Millions of people visit Myrtle Beach each year, and Captain David Knipes of the Myrtle Beach Police Departments says that crime does increase during the warmer months.
"Typically that's because there's more people in town," Captain Knipes says. "When there's more people, it's going to bring in more of the criminal element to try to prey off those people."
There are colleges in the area, and also opportunity for work study programs. Captain Knipes gives tourists and people new to the area the same advice as he would give locals that are having a night out:
"Be aware of your surroundings. Think before you do anything. Don't do anything that will put you in harm's way. You know, be proactive. Don't be walking the beach at two, three o'clock in the morning. Like your parents say nothing happens good after certain hours. It applies here as well as any other town."
Kellie Culbreth works at Southern Breeze Motel. She says it's important that both hotels and motels keep a record of their guests. She says she always knows who is staying in her hotel. She checks licenses as well as license plate numbers, and is very strict about giving room access.
"If I don't know you, if you're not on my registration list, then you're not getting in that room until another person from that room comes and says you can go in that room," Culbreth says.
Captain Knipes wants people to think before they put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation, especially if they are new to or visiting the area.
"Keep your mind about you," Captain Knipes says. "Just because you're here on vacation or because you're from another country and you're working here doesn't mean that you don't take the same precautions that you would at home."
Captain Knipes also says everyone, even locals, should avoid keeping anything in their car. Criminals know what they are looking for, even when you think a purse or phone is well-hidden. He says a lot of windows get busted that way during tourist season.