CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the Charleston Police Department are investigating several car break-ins and home burglaries in James Island and West Ashley.
According to the sheriff's office, during April and May, deputies responded to 19 car break-ins, 15 of which had their doors unlocked. Authorities say nine of the break-ins happened between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., and four happened between midnight and 6 p.m. in the neighborhoods off of Fort Johnson Road.
During June and July, deputies say they responded to 18 car break-ins on James Island and three in West Ashley, of those vehicles, 19 vehicles were left unlocked.
"We're fed up with it, guns are loaded in Quail Run, I can guarantee you that," said resident John Markert, whose neighbor was a victim. "It concerns everybody in here. I'm tired of it. We work hard for what we got and it's not right."
"There are many steps that homeowners can take to greatly reduce the likelihood of being a victim of thefts and most are free," stated a press released from the sheriff's office."A majority of the thefts were from vehicles that were left unlocked so the most basic and easiest step is to roll the windows up and to lock your vehicle. To make your vehicle less of a target remove any items of value from inside the vehicle, including electronics such as GPS units, laptops and cellphones as well as any cash including change. Set an alarm if so equipped and park in a garage or a well-lit area when parking in public locations."
In addition, the Charleston Police Department say in April and May, officers responded to 24 car break-in, with 15 of those vehicles found unlocked. During June and July, CPD responded to 12 car break-ins, and of those vehicles, eight were found unlocked.
Authorities say in April and May, CPD responded to eight burglaries. In July, officers responded to three burglaries. The 11 burglaries happened in the Harborview Road and Fort Johnson Road corridor, according to the sheriff's office.
"Precautions homeowners can take to reduce the likelihood of burglaries include locking your residence including garage doors even if you are only going to be away for a short period of time, it takes very little time for someone to enter your home when it is left unlocked," a sheriff's office press release stated."Trim shrubs and bushes so that they don't obstruct view of windows and doors. Make use of lighting during night time hours, install a monitored alarm system and arm it when away from your home."
The sheriff's office is asking people to report any suspicious activities, and to consider joining an active Crime Watch Program. Charleston County Residents may contact the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Community Liaison Office at 843-762-2007 and City of Charleston Police Crime Prevention at 843-860-0315 for additional information.
Residents are invited to attend the regularly scheduled James Island Town Hall meeting to be held at the James Island Town Hall 1238-B Camp Road at 7 p.m. representatives from both the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the City of Charleston Police Department will be present to provide additional information.