Pierpont crime wave has business owners concerned

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A recent crime wave in a West Ashley neighborhood has business owners on edge.

The recent string of crimes started with the home invasion and shooting that left 5-year-old Allison Griffor dead and continued with another home invasion, a drug and gun seizure and finally, Monday night's armed robbery at the Pierpont Pub.

"It's our neighborhood and I hate that," said Phil Whitson, who owns a barber shop in the same shopping center as the pub. "Wish it'd stop."

It hasn't stopped. Lately it hasn't been uncommon to see blue lights and crime scene tape in the Pierpont neighborhood.

Laura Trussell's produce stand is right down the street from where Griffor was killed.

"I need to start packing my gun, because I'm here by myself sometimes. It's getting scary," she said.

It's a thought echoed by the longtime owner of the Sunflower Café.

"It's kind of scary, kind of scary. You just don't know. It keeps getting closer and closer to home," said Jenny Hooker.

The business owners can only speculate why Pierpont Avenue is being targeted.

"People are getting desperate. They're just going about it the wrong way to better themselves," Trussell said.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has stepped up patrols in the neighborhood, according to a spokesman.

"You'll hear something every once in awhile here and there, but nothing like what's been happening," Hooker said.

Whether the increased police presence will cut down on the amount of crime is anyone's guess.

"I hope it is not a bad element that's just starting to move in. I hope it's something they can get under control," Hooker said.

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