A rash of break-ins in an Anderson County community had some business owners making bold statements and others spending big bucks on security.
Folks in the Townville area are hoping to work with Sheriff's deputies to find who's behind the break-ins and get them off the streets.
At Caribbean Car Wash and Storage, broken coin machines line the side wall. Co-owner Richard Bennett said they're constantly being damaged, when thieves only get a handful of coins anyway. He said he spent more than $25,000 on a security system which has helped his business some. But with fewer burglaries on his property, he said he hears of more at other Townville businesses.
The Anderson Sheriff's Office said that in the last six months there have been five reported robberies, where people were victimized during the burglary. On top of that, there were nearly 50 burglaries or break-ins when people weren't around, and those were just the crimes that were reported.
Bennett hopes the sheriff's office will work closer with business owners, who may know more details of crimes in the area.
"[They used] blow torches in the middle of the day. [There were] multiple break-ins in the same night; they cut our fences, cut our locks, in the middle of the day. They're very abrasive. They're not scared, they know what they're doing but we do need to work together and hopefully shut this down and probably a few people doing a majority of the break-ins," Bennett said.
Lt. Sheila Cole with the sheriff's office said they hope to get more patrols out to the Townville area in the near future, because a lot of officers are in training.
She said they're doing what they can to stop thieves, but that they can't do it alone. Investigators rely on tips and information from anyone who sees anything.
Cole hopes that people will contact them to set up a Community Watch Group, where deputies will meet with residents and business owners regularly to share tips, awareness and hopefully find suspects.
Contact the Anderson Sheriff's Office's Community Services Director, Lloyd Robison, at 864-222-3937, to organize a Community Watch Group.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.