By Becky Billingsley
Friday, July 20, 2012, Myrtle Beach – Two Myrtle Beach restaurants and one liquor store were broken into early this morning in what Myrtle Beach Police are calling “smash and grab” burglaries.
According to Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Doug Furlong, the first robbery occurred at 4:25 a.m. at Echo Latino restaurant, at 3901 N. Kings Highway.
The second break-in happened at 5 a.m. at Salsarita’s Mexican Cantina at 3731 Oleander Dr. in Myrtle Beach.
The third incident was at 6:11 a.m. at Owen’s Liquors at 8000 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach.
Lt. Furlong said all three robberies were of the smash and grab type, where a door or window is smashed, and the burglars quickly grab money out of a safe or cash register, or products that are easily accessible, and quickly leave the premises.
In all cases, the Lt. said, police response times from when the alarm companies contacted police was 1 ½ to 3 minutes.
At Salsarita’s, the back door was smashed in and the cash drawers were stolen.
The burglaries are under investigation, and Lt. Furlong said the possibility that the three robberies are related is being given consideration.
UPDATE 10:31 a.m. - We are investigating reports that at least two more smash and grabs occurred in Horry County, outside the city limits. Updates will be made as new information is learned.