MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Residents in the Palmetto Pointe area are concerned about their property. What's alarming in one case last week is that their car was locked the whole time and didn't show any signs of forced entry.
Neighbors said this has been an on and off problem over the past several years.
Alee Tucker has lived in the Peninsula at Palmetto Pointe since it was built about 12 years ago, and said when she noticed her items were stolen, she learned she wasn't the only one.
Tucker noticed her rings, GPS, and a bottle of prescription pills missing last Monday night. She believes that the robber or robbers were able to access her car with a tool similar to the "Pop-A-Lock" tool, which is a device used to wedge in the window of the car and retrieve items.
Horry County Police Department's crime map lists a total of four vehicle break-ins with no signs of forced entry on March 26.
A spokesperson for "Pop-a-Lock" said it's not hard to get into a car by wedging the door. He said although newer cars are harder to break into, it's still possible.
He said the biggest challenge is damaging the car when getting into it, but it doesn't take a lot of experience to unlock most cars.
Tucker says she would love for her rings to be returned, if found. But, the most important thing she wants people to know is even if you think your valuables are out of sight, it will not stop someone from getting into your car.
"I hope that people don't assume because their doors are locked, that someone else can't get in them. I really think because tourism season is coming on and you don't really know who is coming in and out of your neighborhoods, to be more cautious and a little more safe guarded, and they are not all neighbors. Keep your eyes open. I mean it's like the culture that we're living in.. where they say if you see something, say something. I think it has to be the same now in the neighborhoods that we live in. Just if you see something that's kind of suspicious or out of the ordinary, don't be afraid to say something," said Tucker.
Tucker said the community is quiet, but now more than ever, she plans to encourage the community to get together to form a neighborhood crime watch program.
"I don't like the idea that we live in a neighborhood where everything has to be guarded so intensely. But you know you feel like when things like this start happening, you just have to do what you have to do. But the crime watch would be good because they take turns going through the neighborhood, that would be very good," said Tucker.
She said getting the community together during these times is essential.
"I really want to work to get other people in our community here interested in doing the teamwork thing, where we take turns going out and really sharing that idea of we are protecting each other.. we're looking out for each other's goods," said Tucker.
If you have any information about these incidents you're asked to call Horry County Police at (843)-915-TIPS.