Report: Violent crimes, arsons up in Myrtle Beach - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Report: Violent crimes, arsons up in Myrtle Beach

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The statistics for crimes reported in the Myrtle Beach in 2012 indicates an increase of violent crimes and decrease of property crimes.

But that doesn't tell the whole story. The report released by Myrtle Beach Police says they investigated five murders in 2012 – the highest they've dealt with since 2006. There were four in 2011.

The number of rape cases totaled 42, a 20 percent increase over the sexual assaults in 2011.

Robberies also increased in 2012, but aggravated assaults saw a decline from 187 in 2011 to 178 in 2012.

Though property crimes as a whole decreased, certain types of them did not. There were only two arson cases under investigation in the Myrtle Beach area in 2011. In 2012, police filed reports on 13.

Burglaries also increased about 10 percent. But larcenies and motor vehicle thefts declined.

The total number of property crimes for 2012 – 3,794 – is the lowest number of those types of crimes reported in Myrtle Beach for the year as a whole since at least 1995 when current records begin.

Myrtle Beach City Councilman Randal Wallace said this number is so low likely because of more neighborhood watches that have been formed in the last year.

"These improvements that we've been doing where we've had these crime watches begin to happen all over across the city and they've doubled this year from nine to about 19 now. That's working. They know who their neighbors are, they know who's supposed to be in the neighborhood, who's not and that I think is showing," Wallace said.

Wallace also noted the total number of violent crimes reported in 2012, 420, is actually low considering how many visitors travel to Myrtle Beach each year.

"That's the thing you always have to remember when you see us ranked 21st, they're basing that on our per capita of 27,000 people who live here. When, in reality, you know we have half a million people here at any given time from May 'till the end of September," Wallace said.

For further breakdown of these statistics, check out the full Yearly Stats Report for 2012.

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