Influx of people brings crimes of opportunity to Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Myrtle Beach's population can grow to up to 100,000 people, and with the influx of people comes an increase of crime. Both the Myrtle Beach Police and the North Myrtle Beach Police Departments agreed that it's no secret crime increases once the weather grows warmer.

Chief of the North Myrtle Beach Police, J. Phillip Webster, says it's all situational, and that it is very important that you are aware of your situation at all times. He explains crime affects both tourists and locals during these months. He says there is an up tick in car robberies, crimes of opportunity, and disorderly crimes.

Chief Webster thinks Myrtle Beach is more of a city than most visitors think.

"Just realize this is a city like any other city," Chief Webster said. "Unfortunately things can happen. We try to keep people safe, but there is some personal responsibility - take care of your valuables, your friends and your family."

In North Myrtle Beach's Crime Index from 2013, larceny incidents went from 35 in February to 66 in May. Chief Webster says this is because most of these crime numbers are from "Crimes of Opportunity." It is very important to be on high alert. He says not to leave anything in the car, or on beach towels, or in trunks, whether they are locked or not.

He says cell phones and ear phones can drown out important details that you may need to keep safe.

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