MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – It took Myrtle Beach Police just over 24 hours to arrest the man they say destroyed several parking meters after releasing his photo to the public on Thursday.
According to a police report from Myrtle Beach Police, Carlos Manuel Helly, 37, was arrested Friday after attempting to steal two pair of earrings and four bottles of cologne from Belk department store at the Coastal Grand Mall. The store employee who called police regarding the attempted shoplifting told officers that he saw Helly’s photo on the Myrtle Beach Police Facebook page, police state in the report.
Police received at least five reports of meter vandalism to several parking meters in the oceanfront area of the city on October 22 or 23.
In all the cases, someone reported one or more parking meters pulled out of the ground, smashed into pieces and/or otherwise cracked open. In some cases, the entire meter was reported missing.
In one case, a city employee reported four stolen meters and two more left broken open and emptied. The employee discovered the damage on Monday morning around 8:20. The employee told police the meter vandalism has been a problem for the past few weeks.
“He informed me that all up and down Ocean Blvd. someone has been breaking them open and taking money out of them or taking the whole meter itself,” one officer wrote in a police report.
That report referenced nine other reports of similar damage to parking meters. The officer also wrote that beach access surveillance cameras may be helpful in finding the person/people responsible.
Meters were reported missing at the following locations on Sunday night or Monday morning:
- The 200 block of 8th S.
- The 1100 block of S. Ocean Blvd.
- The 200 block of 12th S.
- The 100 block of Willam St. (at S. Ocean Blvd.)
- 28th S at S. Ocean Blvd.
Helly has been charged in the numerous cases of destroyed parking meters, according to Myrtle Beach Police incident report. Helly is charged with:
Five counts of grand larceny
Eight counts of malicious damage to property
Four counts of simple larceny
Failure to appear
Helly remains behind bars at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center Monday night.