Allen Atkins, source: Myrtle Beach Police Department
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Two neighbors helped catch an accused burglar while Myrtle Beach police say he was in the act of stealing from their neighbors home.
Around 8 a.m., Tuesday, police got a call from two neighbors who live on South Park Drive in Myrtle Beach. They told police that they were outside their home when they noticed a television box leaning against the side of their neighbors house.
Along with the television, there were a few bags that looked to have clothes and food inside them. While they were watching the property, they said a man they did not recognize, identified as 41-year-old Allen Atkins, went over to the items on their neighbors property.
One of the neighbors asked Atkins why he was there at the house, and he said the owner had let him stay the night.
"He had a bunch of trash bags in my driveway, and a flat screen T.V. and about that time, he walked out the front door and he said well, Junior said I could stay here!' and the reason that he knew my name was I had some mail on my table," the homeowner, Junior Wilcox said.
The neighbor called Wilcox, to check if what Atkins said was true, while his wife kept an eye on what Atkins was doing. Atkins then got into a cab with the items believed to be from the home. The victim said no one had permission to be in his home, or on the property.
The neighbors also noticed that a back glass window had been broken and the front door of the home was open, prompting them to call police.
Police were able to track down the driver of the taxi cab that they said drove Atkins from the neighborhood. The driver gave officers the address of where he went- the Palace Resort. The front desk attendant knew who police were searching for when they gave the suspect description, and gave them the room number he was staying in.
"They took the gentleman next door that saw him down there to recognize him, he said 'that's him!' and they got a warrant to search his room and found a bunch of stolen items in it, and some of them were mine," Wilcox said.
Officers found the television set and arrested Atkins. He has been charged with first degree burglary.
Other neighbors on South Park Drive credit looking out for each other for the arrest.
"I've got to say one thing. These people around here look out for one another, and they watch everybody's stuff and if someone comes in here that they don't recognize or they don't know.. Oh, they don't mind stopping and asking who are you? How are you? Can I help you or are you looking for someone?," Darren Junior explained.