Surfside Beach police talk safety after former high school teacher arrested again for alleged home burglary

Surfside Beach police talk safety after former high school teacher arrested again for alleged home burglary
Source: WMBF News
Bion Shoemaker (Source: JRLDC)
Bion Shoemaker (Source: JRLDC)

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A former Horry County high school teacher arrested last summer in connection with a string of home and vehicle break-ins has been arrested again for a separate residential burglary, according to Surfside Beach Police Interim Chief Kenneth Hofmann.

Hofmann said Bion Shoemaker III, 45, was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary after the incident was tied back to him through recovered items.

Police say his is not his first offense. In August, Shoemaker was charged with three counts of second-degree burglary to a residence, and one count of breaking into a motor vehicle.

Teal Britton, with Horry County Schools, previously said Shoemaker started at St. James High School in 2011 and transferred to Socastee High School this year. He did not show up to school Aug. 17, one day before his Aug. 18 arrest. He taught special education.

Police said Shoemaker was on probation for those crimes when he allegedly broke into another home.

Gilbert Williams, an investigator with the Surfside Beach Police Department, said the victims returned to the area to check on their vacation home only to find it wasn't how they left it.

"(It was) in complete disarray," Williams said. "A lot of stuff moved around. Drawers ripped from dressers and those types of things, pictures removed from walls."

It was a scene similar to what officers found in other homes they said Shoemaker hit in the past. Another parallel is the kind of items taken, which Williams said included decorative pieces, gardening tools and small items like a beach bocce ball set.

Though these items may be small, unlike the usual TVs or electronics thieves usually target, Surfside Beach police take the offenses seriously no matter what, knowing how a break-in can affect a victim.

"Intrusion into their personal life, it's a scary situation for anybody, you know, especially when you come home for a vacation and your house is completely ransacked," Williams said. "And you spend your whole weekend cleaning up your house, taking security measures, replacing doors and locks, worrying that person is going to come back."

According to Williams, this is why officers keep a close eye on neighborhoods and want people to report anything out of the ordinary, no matter how small they think it is.

"Our patrol officers are vigilant," he said. "They are aware of who is in and out of our community, and when we make an arrest like this we make sure that our patrolmen, especially during nighttime, are aware of what vehicles they drive and who should be in what areas during what time."

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