Business owner says wooded lot is haven for criminals

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - A business owner says some of her customers are too frightened to shop there because a wooded lot next door is a haven and hangout for criminals.

Cathy Cote says the lot, on Old Highway 52, needs to be cleaned and cleared.

"It's just very dangerous with these hoodlums and riff raff hiding around in these woods," Cote said. "The problem is the undergrowth. You can't see through there and there may be people hiding in there, watching us as we speak."

After her air conditioner was stolen, Cote let the bad guys know she is watching them with words written on the back of her building. Wednesday was the last straw. A shot was fired outside a gas station right in front of the lot and very close to a daycare.

"We all heard it. I called the police," Cote said. "I'm just waiting for sadly the day something terrible's gonna happen to one of those little children. It scares me to death."

The owner of the property, Manuel Cohen, said he understands Cote's concerns. He said he has cut the underbrush and cleaned up.

"It's a rat's nest. If they would just clean up the nest where you can see up underneath it, then the unsavory elements would disappear because they don't want to be out in the broad daylight just like any other rodent," Cote said.

But Cohen said he can't be there all the time. In his words, "I don't run a cleaning service."

Cote wasn't happy to hear that and said she will keep her eyes and ears open for any trouble.

"We run a very good business," Cote said. "We have some of the very best customers in the world and we have to protect them."

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