CONWAY, SC – (WBTW) Horry County police are responding to an increasing number of car break-ins and want to remind you to “beep before you sleep.”
Captain Jason Freer, from the Horry County Police Department, says, there is usually an increase in break-ins during the summer months because typically the suspects are teenagers. However, there has been about 65% more reported car break-ins during May through July, from the same time in 2018.
Freer says about 99% of the calls they respond to are because the vehicles doors were left unlocked.
Although the number of break-ins is on the rise, Captain Freer says the department has been pretty successful in catching thieves through technology.
The county partners with the Ring company, and people can use Neighbors app to help the department track down suspects.
Another way law enforcement is catching thieves is social media. Captain Freer says, on many occasions the hashtag, “car hopping” is used.
Car hopping occurs when people go up to a series of cars and pull on the handles to see which vehicles are unlocked.
“They take anything,” Freer said. “From owners manuals, to power cords, to change, to anything that has a value that they can turn around and sell on Craigslist or online at Ebay or any one of those sites, that is what they are doing with it.”
Freer says you can protect your vehicle by removing valuables, locking car doors and turning on a light.
“It costs very little money with these LED lights for a whole year to run it, $5, $6 for an LED light,” Freer said. “Criminals don’t like to work in the light, they like to operate in the dark, it’s easier.”