Armed robbery increase causes worry for local businesses

In June, Myrtle Beach Police responded to 12 armed robberies and in June of 2011 that number was just at three. Three robberies recently in Myrtle Beach happened in hotels on Ocean Boulevard.

Hotel owners are now starting to worry that this crime will affect their business.

Theresa Devalle has managed the Admiral Inn for seven years, but she says the area hasn't always been this way.

"This is the worst we've ever had it here, is this year, and we've been hearing more and more hotels are getting robbed, convenience stores being robbed and now it worries us because we're a small property also, you never know if you're the next target," saysDevalle.

Monday evening police responded to an armed robbery at the Bermuda Inn.

Lori Cleveland and her family were staying in the room above the robbery and she recalls hearing noise from the incident.

"They kicked the window out and it waslike boom, a bomb blew up, says Cleveland. â??It was scary, but all you can do islock your doors and be on the lookout."

Myrtle Beach police officers urge visitors and residents a like to be aware of their surroundings and their actions.

"Use common sense, things that you woulddo at home, you should do down here," says Myrtle Beach Police Public Information Officer Cpt. David Knipes. Knipes urges people not to open a door toanyone they don't know.

"Nothing good is going to happen at 2 or 3 in the morning if you open your hotel room."

Knipes also adds that he does not think the current number for armed robberies will continue to increase through the summer.

"Crimes ebb and flow, unfortunately right now it's high," adds Knipes.

Devalle worries because the crime is high right now.

"I think it's going to hurt our business if it continues because people are going to get scared. And when people getscared they don't what to do. They don't want everything they've got stolen. It can ruin your vacation," says Devalle.

Cleveland and her family say the robbery did scare them, but it will not deter them from returning to the Grand Strand.

"Well it scares you but you can't let it stop you. I mean you can't live in fear, it wouldn't stop me from coming back," says Cleveland.