Police report violent crime rates down in Myrtle Beach, property theft is up

Police report violent crime rates down in Myrtle Beach, property theft is up

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach police presented the first six months of this year’s crime statistics at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The crime stats found that there was an 11% increase in property theft. The data analyst broke it down to two different crimes, shoplifting and theft from motor vehicles.

The statistics show 46% of break-ins occurred in parking lots, parking garages and hotels or motels.

The crime analyst took a closer look at how criminals got into the car.

She said 85% of the time, the car wasn’t broken into, it was simply unlocked.

Myrtle Beach police told WMBF News they’re working with businesses to make sure stores are utilizing resources to deter shoplifting, such as a greeter or checking receipts.

When it comes to vehicle break-ins, they said it’s important to always bring your belongings inside and lock your doors.

Crime analyst Kyleen Crane said it’s her job to break down these numbers so if you ever have this happen to you, report it.

“A lot of times they don’t think to report, if it’s loose chain or something of no value," Crane said. "My job is to analyze patterns of where incidents are occurring and even if it might not be something of high value, maybe there were four or five others in that same location and we can try to attribute that.”

While property theft is up, violent crime has decreased 14%.

Myrtle Beach police said some of the biggest achievements they’ve made to get these numbers down is open communication with the department and technology.

Some of those technologies include license plate readers, surveillance cameras and intelligence programs.

Police also said they’re placing enforcement in areas where it’s needed most, but said it’s not just officers who are responsible for the new numbers.

“It’s a partnership with our community. It’s a partnership with our business community. It’s everything from education to working with other city departments to working with our processors office. It is not just the police department who is responsible for this,” said Myrtle Beach police Cpt. Eric DiLorenzo.

Police said there was decrease for all of 2018 and said, so far, these statistics and trends continue to show a decrease for this year.

“We have only had, thankfully, one homicide this year in April versus last year this time we had three," said Crane. "We also saw a decrease in our sexual assault and aggravated assaults and that overall reduce the violent crime numbers 14%.”

WMBF News asked police what they plan to do for the future to continue a gradual decrease.

“We are a very proactive, progressive department," said DiLorenzo. "We are always looking for what’s next. We are gonna continue to look for how we can best utilize our resources, what resources are out there that we can adopt into our agency to continue this downward trend.”

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.