Pawleys Island Police work with realty companies to decrease break-ins

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WBTW) – With tourist season approaching its peak, the number of vehicle break-ins is also rising. Pawleys Island Police are working with realty companies to make sure people know they are being targeted while on vacation.

“We’d like to believe we can always leave our house or car unlocked, but we always stress to our vacationers not to do that,” said Betsy Altman with Pawleys Island Realty Company.

Pawleys Island Police Chief Michael Fanning said they publicize the fact the town has surveillance cameras and a license plate reader to document every car that comes on and off the island. He said because of tools like this, they are able to prevent crimes and catch criminals.

One example took place in June when three people were arrested for breaking into 25 cars in a single night. Police were able to use the surveillance camera footage and license plate reader to identify the suspects, make arrests, and recover stolen weapons, according to Chief Fanning.

“Pawleys Island is known as a safe place, but it’s not immune to someone coming in and trying to take advantage of that lax attitude,” warns Chief Fanning.

Police said the population on the island grows from a few hundred people in the winter to a few thousand people in the summer, and thieves are paying attention to those peak times. They said the easiest way to get your items stolen is by leaving your car doors unlocked or leaving valuables out in plain sight. Police also mentioned that despite having the technology to find criminals, it’s important to take preventative measures from the beginning.