Myrtle Beach police see ‘unusual’ spike in crime around Thanksgiving holiday

Grand Strand Crime

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach police are responding to what they say are an unusually high number of crimes, all within a matter of days.

Police are actively investigating several crimes that happened during the week of Thanksgiving. Officers esponded to two shootings between Nov. 23-24, which turned deadly just a day before Thanksgiving. Another shooting followed just days later, bringing a total of three shootings during the holiday week.

“The picture of everyone going to their families is something that we all look forward to but not everyone has a family to go to, or a lot of people have different issues I guess as far as financial issues, said Sandy Quast, a counselor and owner of Coastal Haven Counseling. “They’re struggling.”

Police are still searching for two suspects — one who robbed a Family Dollar and another who robbed a Circle K at gunpoint.

And the crimes didn’t stop there.

“Just between [Nov. 24] and [Nov. 28] we are investigating more than 23 — it was 23 calls, but in some of the incidents it was more than one car that was broken into and that was from about 60th North to about 70th northwest of Kingsway,” Master Cpl. Tom Vest said.

During the course of last week, Vest said, officers responded to calls within three minutes. While that’s helpful, he said the rise in crime isn’t normal.

“I mean normally in the summertime when our population goes up, we see increases in numbers, but this is unusual,” Vest said.

Quast said the holidays can be stressful. Things like family discourse, substance abuse and financial stress can all be behind the rise in crime, she said.

“Can’t pay the electric bills or can’t buy presents for the kids for Christmas — all of those things add up to stress, and people do things that they wouldn’t normally do,” Quast said.

Meanwhile, the MBPD is working with multiple agencies to help keep crime at bay as the holiday season ramps up.

“Anytime that we have an anticipated increase in call volume we’ll staff up for that,” Vest said. “But the one thing everyone can expect is that we’re not going anywhere. What folks can expect 24 hours a day, seven days a week the police officers are going to be out here keeping you safe.”

Authorities are asking anyone with information on these crimes to give them a call. Quast encourages anyone experiencing challenges to talk with someone.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

What People Are Reading on wbtw.com