ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Burglars are targeting convenience and liquor stores throughout Anderson County.
In recent weeks, the businesses have lost thousands of dollars, thanks to the thieves. Boarded up doors and windows have become a common site for the store owners.
“They knocked out the front door and there was glass everywhere,” Larry Thompson at Game Day Spirits said. It is extremely frustrating. You try to start a business to provide a product or service to the community and then something like this happens, and you have to take money to repair what’s been done and to prepare to prevent it in the future.”
Game Day Spirits was hit by burglars early Sunday morning.
They’re one of 28 other of those kinds of businesses burglarized in Anderson County this year. The Sheriff’s Office says that’s more than double the amount this time the last two years.
“They are risking getting caught, getting shot, going to jail and for a couple hundred dollars here and there. I can’t even begin to comprehend the logic on that,” Thompson questioned.
The thieves are getting away with money cigarettes and other merchandise.
According to incident reports from the latest burglaries, a burglar is seen on video taking several bottles of liquor from Scrooge’s Spirits early Tuesday morning after smashing through two doors. Just minutes later, incident reports show a burglary at a Shell Food Mart on Electric City Blvd. A burglar is also seen on camera there busting through glass with a rock to steal.
7 News Reporter Krystyne Brown talked to several of the store owners and managers Tuesday. Many of them didn’t want to go on camera, but shared images from surveillance footage of the burglaries, including the break in at Scrooge’s Spirits. But the Sheriff’s Office asked us not to release those images. They say showing the images right now could interfere with their investigation.
“We make sure that there is very little cash ever in the store,” said Larry.
The repairs are where store owners say it’s hitting their wallet the hardest. “We don’t want to have to put metal bars to make it look like we are running a jail,” Thompson added. “You have to spend money to prevent this. It is going to cost everybody and I hope it doesn’t get to the point where some businesses close and then what? Nobody wins in that scenario.”
The Anderson County Sheriff’s office says they are now trying to pull together a task force with Anderson Police to combat the recent increase of the crimes. They’re expected to meet later this week.