HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After months of alleged break-ins, one Socastee neighborhood has had enough.
Neighbors who live in Lawson's Landing and the streets around it said they have been dealing with car break-ins, home break-ins, theft from an open garages, and vandalism, issues that have not improved with time.
"It's been going on for the past ten years that I've lived here but it's gradually gotten worse over the past year," an anonymous neighbor said.
For a quiet neighborhood, recent events are alarming.
"They've stolen our golf clubs, they've stolen our gas cans, they stole our blower," she said. "I just feel like maybe someone's sitting and waiting and watching, for someone to leave their garage open, which is really scary - it makes me not wanna let my kids go outside and play because I don't know who's watching."
Neighbors say it happens at all hours of the day, forcing them to take matters in their own hands.
"People are starting to put up camera systems, which is a good deterrent," concerned neighbor Thomas Nixon said. He is one person manning a surveillance camera system.
Kathleen Mcclure and her husband also installed eight cameras around their home. One night, they even caught someone lurking on their street, and breaking into a car.
"They need to know there's a presence here other than our 8 cameras," said Mcclure. "They need to know that someone's watching."
Many neighbors expressed the police presence is lacking.
Horry County Police said this neighborhood is one of the more frequently visited, but only about eight car break-ins were reported on and around Watson's Riverside in the past year, and a handful in Lawson's Landing. Police say it doesn't mean the crimes not happening, it just may mean, it could be unreported.
"I understand they're busy, and they have a lot going on," said Nixon. "I'd like to see some more patrols in this area through the night. We need some action in this neighborhood."
Police say the more you reach out to them, the more officers can take action.
Neighbors want a neighborhood watch group to help put an end to this issue.
The property management company, Gold Crown, is ready to take action. It's sending a letter to residents calling them to join a neighborhood watch. All it needs is enough people to express interest, to put it into place.
If you want to join the group, Contact Brett at Gold Crown (843) 445-6007 and give him your name, telephone number, and email.
"Once we get enough people, we will set a meeting and invite Horry County PD. Remember, we are only asking you to observe, and report," reads the letter.
The management company plans to look into other measures such as security, gates, cameras, all which comes at a cost.
In the meantime, the company recommends:
- Turn on your outside lights if you can
- Trim hedges and bushes away from the house
- Park cars in the drive way versus the street
- Lock your vehicles
Meet your neighbors and be aware of your surroundings
You can form a neighborhood watch group by going to your local precinct. Police say the more of these we have, the better our neighborhoods will be.