Police arrest 5 in connection to car thefts, break-ins across South Strand

Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 6:40 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Three agencies in the South Strand are looking into car thefts and break-ins that spanned nearly 100 miles along the coast, ending in Surfside Beach. They believe it all could be connected.

Early Sunday morning, more than a dozen people called 911 from areas between Georgetown, Garden City, and Surfside Beach saying their cars had been broken into and four cars were stolen.

“Turned out they were all connected," said Horry County Police Department spokesperson Mikayla Moskov.

Officers with the HCPD, the Surfside Beach Police Department, and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office all responded.

“Several subjects fled from us throughout the morning, we kinda got in a cat and mouse chase with them," said Lt. Gilbert Williams with SBPD.

Police said they believe the suspects started their night somewhere around Charleston because one of the stolen guns recovered is from the area.

Then, GCSO had several reports of break-ins through the area and a car theft on Sundial Drive around 10 p.m. The police report shows the car was unlocked with a spare key inside when it was stolen.

Police believe the suspects then made their way to Garden City where another vehicle was stolen from a home on Elizabeth Drive around 11 p.m. Again, authorities said the owner left the car unlocked with the keys inside.

Around 7 a.m. Sunday, a Horry County police officer saw one of the stolen cars and tried to pull it over. The driver took off, and after a high-speed chase, the driver crashed the car into a light pole in Surfside Beach, snapping it in half.

Authorities said witnesses saw two people run off and police were able to catch one of them and found numerous stolen items, including four guns inside the car.

Not long after, reports were made of three males breaking into cars on Dogwood Avenue in Surfside Beach.

Police were told the suspects took bikes to the 8th Avenue beach access and then ran onto the beach.

When police arrived, not only did they find the bikes, but they also found a Toyota Tundra that was reported stolen earlier in the morning from Oceanside Drive.

Also stolen from the same home, a Red Camero which was found on 15th Avenue South.

Police found the three suspects on the beach and took them into custody. Another was later taken into custody.

Authorities said Cassius Brown, 18, of North Charleston and Jacob Wilson, 18, of Hollywood were booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

They both face charges of breaking into motor vehicles, conspiracy, and larceny of a bicycle.

The three others arrested are all said to be juveniles.

One of the juveniles arrested is a 17-year-old from Saint George. That juvenile is facing charges of possession of stolen vehicle, possession of stolen firearm, unlawful carry, conspiracy and breaking into motor vehicles.

The second juvenile arrested is a 15-year-old from Charleston. That juvenile was charged with possession of stolen vehicle, possession of stolen firearm, unlawful carry, conspiracy, receiving stolen goods and breaking into motor vehicles.

The third juvenile arrested is a 14-year-old from Charleston. That juvenile was charged with larceny of bicycle, conspiracy and breaking into autos.

All three juveniles were detained and taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

After this series of crimes, many have asked was this just an unusual event or was this gang-related?

“Nothing we have indicates that it’s gang activity, we can’t say 100% that it isn’t but right now everything that we have indicates that this was just a strange occurrence,” said Moskov.

Surfside Beach police said no one in the area should be worried, saying they believe all the suspects are in custody.

All agencies say the biggest way to prevent this from happening is to not leave your keys inside your car and to make sure it’s locked.

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