A fatal and senseless shooting of a 78 year old woman who was sitting in her car waiting for her daughter to pick up a gift for her upcoming birthday went viral this past weekend. The news feed was seen and shared by 4.8 million people across social media and was noted as “the” trending story across Facebook.com for two days.
Just after this story went viral, news stories of a woman punched at Broadway at the Beach, who also had her purse stolen, went online. AND shortly after this story went up and also began being shared, this story went up as well. Reports posted by Myrtle Beach’s WBTW on this 3rd story state, “A second witness told police he was downstairs in his apartment when he heard what sounded like 10-15 gun shots also. He told police when he went outside he heard about 10 more shots and saw a male get into a gold four door vehicle that he described as a Mazda or Nissan. He told police he saw the car head eastbound on 36th Avenue North then south on Oak Street.”
These crime reports are coming to light during a season of high frustration for many local residents and merchants. This past October an area hotel owner met with city council to air out her ongoing frustrations with crimes against her family. Just last week, frustrated merchants, who feel they are being harassed in an area called the Super Block in Myrtle Beach spoke out on camera at a special meeting at City Hall concerning crime. Some of these merchants believe the city is overly focused on code restrictions while ignoring the major crime issues now going on throughout the area.
January begins what historically is Myrtle Beach’s prime booking season for each upcoming year. As such, condo owners, who rent their condos to tourists through property management firms operating in the city of Myrtle Beach have also began to voice their concerns. Myrtle-Beach.com reported yesterday the concerns of one out of town condo owner. “Our condo rental income is a key source of revenue for helping cover the costs of our monthly mortgage,” said one out of town condo owner whose family has a long connection to a Conway, S.C. local business. “No one wants to officially go on the record as we can not vote in the city of Myrtle Beach. We also fear reprisals from the property management companies renting our condos that are closely tied to the Chamber and the city. Something has to be done, however, because the methods they are employing just aren’t working. January begins our peak booking season. Everyday another crime story of Myrtle Beach fills my Facebook pages and the Google searches that relate to Myrtle Beach. If I am seeing them, everyone in my town is as well.”
Condo Owners, Merchants, Police, Tourists, & Residents opposing lawlessness began sharing these stories across social media over the weekend. A small contingency of this group is also meeting this week to discuss what steps can be taken to address the increasing rate of senseless crime that is ongoing in our city and county.
Many believe the license plate readers that the city now employs for all people entering the city of Myrtle Beach is nothing more than a tourist harassment. Local merchants have time and again told our team that the local homeless population (who do not own cars), coupled with crime coming from locals living in neighborhoods south of Broadway At The Beach, are the key contributing components of the increasing crime in the Myrtle Beach area.
Leading property management firms like Brittain Resort Management, that do daily oceanfront condo rentals to visiting tourists (for over 20,000 condo owners who live out of state) have had nothing to say publicly on the matter. This one particular property management group is considered to be closely aligned with city government. Merchants and residents alike have stated privately that they believe Brittain Resort Management should speak out against these increasing crimes as the group has such a huge say in how our local government thinks and operates.
The C.O.M.P.T.R.O.L. group says it will continue meeting over the next short period to examine what steps it can take to organize in such a way as to curb the recent tide of high crime in the city.