MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – Several Murrells Inlet businesses are speaking out after two separate instances where equipment and property were set on fire in the last week.
At Rott's Tire in Murrells Inlet, all the trucks and equipment are out for everyone to see. Including one truck, burnt to a crisp.
The owner says early Saturday morning, someone came and lit the business' tow truck and lawn mower on fire. The flames ran up the side of the building and blew out the side window.
One man driving nearby saw the flames and called 911. "It's very frustrating," said Wayne Brown, the owner of the business. "Especially when we know it's been going on a while literally right here in this one block," Brown said.
Brown says whoever did this caused thousands of dollars in damage. He says Horry County police told him they believe it could be the same man that has hit several buildings around the area. That's including an incident last week, just a few blocks away.
"At first I didn't know there was an arsonist here, we were wondering if he had a vendetta against the company," explained Marie McMahon with South Strand Landscaping.
McMahon says last weekend someone set a truck and other equipment on fire where she works. The truck is no longer there, but around back it's pretty clear what happened. She says police told her it was most likely the same man, someone they have been looking to question for years. "I don't know if he got scared, but he seemed to not take too long over here," she said.
Both businesses say these types of incidents are getting ridiculous. They now have to fork up thousands of dollars to fix something, they say should have never happened in the first place.
Also, they'll lose something they can't replace if things ever go wrong. "You never know when they might be hitting it when somebody's actually inside those buildings," Brown said.
In packets handed out by Horry County Police to businesses in the area, the person of interest for these arsons is a white man, 16 to 25 years old.
If you have any information about him, you should contact Horry County Police.