Local stores still boarded up after burglaries during Hurricane Matthew

Local stores still boarded up after burglaries during Hurricane Matthew

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Most businesses are back up and running after Hurricane Matthew, but now some are trying to get things back in order after finding their stores were broken into from people taking advantage of the storm.

Three different business on Fourth Avenue in Conway were hit over the weekend. Each store manager believe they were all planned because of the storm.

A glass portion on the side of the Jamestown Grocery was one of the stores broken into during Matthew's height. The store manager said the only thing missing was a church bank that sat underneath the empty register.

The manager has a camera right where the incident took place and said if the power wasn't out  the police would have been able to get a good glance of who the perpetrator was.

Another burglary took place down the street at the C & C Handimart and it has boards on its front door. The manager there said he knew it was a group because he found laundry baskets and flashlights left behind.

So far, he knows they only took cigarettes and beer.

"They cut the padlocks off," said  you can see where they pried the back of my store, it was absolutely planned, they were waiting for the storm to get to a point so they can come and do this,"Brian Stamey, owner of C&C Handimart.

The South Side Pharmacy also had a similar situation. A board is on its front door from someone apparently jumping through the window. The owner hasn't had time to go through inventory to see what all what was missing, but found an empty plastic bag on the floor.

"I think that's why the criminals choose ... hurricanes or times of disaster because they know everything is chaos and no one is focused on protecting stores," said Johnny Capps, Southside Pharmacy owner.

Over in Myrtle Beach, the owner of the Piggly Wiggly on North Kings Highway said when she went to check out the store Sunday morning, a part of the glass beside the front door was broken.

The manager said whoever broke in stole $3,000 worth of lottery tickets and almost $6,000 worth of cigarettes.

Now, the store has no lottery signs up in its store and only a short supply of cigarettes.

The Myrtle Beach police responded to this incident. Department officials said this is a popular crime during hurricanes.

At this time, because there was no power at any of these stores, there's not footage of when the incidents took place or who the suspects were.

There is also no word on if they were all related.

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