CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Horry County man was arrested Friday in connection with a string of burglaries at popular restaurants and bars throughout the Grand Strand, Horry County police said.
Samuel Smith, 52, of Myrtle Beach faces nine counts of burglary in the second degree.
Several popular establishments were robbed, and they include: the Sneaky Beagle, Handley’s, Doyle’s Pub & Grub, and the Old Bull & Bush Pub and Eatery.
In each of the incidents, a safe, bank bag, or other valuable, monetary items were taken, according to police.
The first incident began on February 9th when officers responded to South Atlantic Bank in reference to an attempted larceny, according to incident reports.
Officers on scene met with bank employees who stated that around 6:00 a.m. that morning an unknown male, later identified as Smith rode up to the night drop box on a bicycle attempting to use a fishing hook weight and fishing line to steal items.
No one was arrested and Smith was not immediately identified in this situation, according to reports.
Another incident happened in March when officers were called out to the Sneaky Beagle in reference to a burglary.
According to incident reports, officers met with an employee who said the restaurant had been broken into after hours. She noticed as she went about her normal work duties that the safe was not under the front counter like normal and the keys to the freezer could not be found.
Reports show that Smith made an entry through the window by prying the window open.
Smith managed to get away with numerous bottles of alcohol and a portable safe consisting of daily end deposits, tip outs, and petty cash. In the incident report, it is noted that Smith made damage to the freezer lock and the window. The value of the safe was $200 and the safe contained money of approximately $6,189.00.
In May, another incident occurred at the Sneaky Beagle. Officers responded to an alarm going off at the restaurant. Upon arrival, officers noticed an open window over the inside bar with cracked glass and an open front door.
According to reports, officers cleared the building and found nothing. Officers let the keyholder inside of the building to find that a black safe containing cash was missing. Smith stole approximately, $8,821.00.
In June, police were dispatched to Handley’s Pub and Grill due to an automatic burglary alarm. Officers arrived and found the owner on scene who had just arrived, according to reports. The restaurant was cleared, and no one was found.
Smith entered the restaurant, stole two bottles of liquor and took two blue color bank bags with Conway Bank on them, according to reports. Police said each bag contained assorted bills and both bags contained a combined $1,750.
The owner of the restaurant told police that prior to their arrival, he made entry and touched majority of the area and fingerprints were not able to be obtained, police said.
Just a few days later, Smith came back to this location and officers responded to another alarm, according to incident reports. Smith took the restaurant’s nightly deposit of $320.
In July, Smith revisited Handley Pub and Grill and tried to forcibly enter the restaurant but was unsuccessful. Police at this point were able to identify that a male was the person responsible for the burglaries.
Police reports show that an apple air tag was inside a safe Smith took and it pinged at his residence.
On Tuesday, following an extensive investigation, a search warrant was served in relation to one of the ongoing burglary investigations, according to police.
On Wednesday Smith was arrested by Horry County police.
Initially Smith was charged with financial transaction card fraud theft and as the investigation continued, it was found that Smith was connected to the string of burglaries.
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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.