HHI public safety meeting focuses on key issue of property crime

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - End of the year crime statistics was the big topic of discussion at the Town of Hilton Head's Public Safety Committee meeting.

Looking at the year-end crime statistics that were presented at the public safety meeting Monday, the big one here is property crime, especially car break-ins.

At the meeting Monday, the crime report shows that larceny accounts for 78 percent of all property crimes recorded during last October, November and December. This includes shoplifting, pickpocketing and purse snatching.

But the real issue officers say is contributing to this number: theft from motor vehicles.

Police say they see these crimes being committed by a very small percentage of individuals who are typically serial offenders targeting specific areas, especially tourist spots.

But it's something that can be prevented in most cases they see. A lot of time these cars have been left unlocked.

"Especially in tourist season, but again, we do have a consistent amount of breaking into motor vehicles throughout the year. Lock your vehicles. Set your alarm to your car. And more than likely, they'll move along, because a majority of cases, these cars aren't broken into. They're left unlocked," said Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Capt. Bob Bromage.

Officials want to make sure that this is something that's on everyone's radar. Especially when going into the busy tourist season, with more and more people coming onto the island. Again, they stress locking those car doors and making sure the alarms are turned on to protect against theft.

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