HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - For the second time in just four weeks, the Horry County Police Department was called to an early morning robbery at the Dunkin’ Donuts off Highway 17 Bypass, near the U.S. 544 exit.
Ship-on-Site owner and manager Frank Espinal has been at this location for what will be 13 years. His store sits a few doors down from where the robberies have taken place at nearly the same time.
“Having it occur twice in about 30 days is really unprecedented. We are certainly concerned. It’s made us aware of this safety issue,” said Espinal.
Just like the robbery in August, it took place early in the morning, a time when most are making their morning coffee runs like Charles Flood.
“I’m about 3/4 of a mile from the Dunkin’ Donuts so I’m there every morning,” said Flood
Flood was at the Dunkin’ Donuts the same day as both robberies, but not when they occurred. Surrounding business owners have expressed their concern about the reoccurring robbery.
Espinal said he plans to meet with employees and go through safety protocol.
“We can replace anything here at the store but the safety of the employees is upfront the most important thing for me,” said Espinal.
Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods said car break-ins have recently become an issue, but Horry County police haven’t noticed a spike in crime to cause concern.
“To do it in the daylight, especially at a coffee shop, it’s just really odd,” said Espinal.
No one was injured and little information about the investigation or the suspect has been released.
“I still feel safe here,” said Espinal.
Dunkin’ Donuts did remain open the rest of the day, only taking drive-thru orders. Customers like Flood said that despite the robbery, he’ll still be back.
“Nothing would deter me from going to the Dunkin’ Donuts. We live in a crazy world, but he’ll get caught eventually,” said Flood.
WMBF News did reach out to Dunkin’ Donuts management, but have not heard back.
If you have any information you can contact the Horry County Police Department.