Officials investigate string of business break-ins in Darlington County

Officials investigate string of business break-ins in Darlington County

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Thieves are breaking into local businesses and almost vanishing without a trace in Darlington County.

Investigators are having a hard time catching the suspects because they are so fast.

“We've increased our patrols at night, we have some extra people out,” Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd Darlington County said.

Byrd said both the city and his deputies are out trying to catch the criminals behind multiple break-ins.

“It's kind of a smash and grab type of break-in. They're in and out in just a few minutes. Grab a few items very quickly cash drawer,” Byrd said.

The latest business hit by the thieves was the Dollar General on Timmonsville Highway in Darlington County.

It was there that surveillance video helped provide more information about who is behind the break-ins.

Video captured the SUV, deputies believe is the getaway vehicle.

Byrd said this case is presenting a challenge to investigators, because the criminals appear to be professionals.

“When you have a continual string of similar crimes you know you have got a group that is specializing in this type of crime,” Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd Darlington County said.

The criminals break-in and leave with goods within three to four minutes. Investigators are asking all businesses owners to be extra vigilant.

“This is another good opportunity for businesses owners to check their alarm systems and make sure they're alarm is working properly,” Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd Darlington County said.

The Darlington County Sheriff's Office is telling businesses not to leave any cash inside at night.

Byrd also suggest businesses owners make sure their alarms set off a high sounding frequency so that people in the area hear it.

“ That's been our primary problem is that these people are in and out of stores so fast that by the time the alarm comes in to us, they're already gone,” Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd Darlington County said.

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