An average of more than one crime per day year round is taking place near the location where Berkeley County Deputy Kimber Gist was shot last week.
News 2’s Raymond Owens has been gathering information about crime near Harbour Lake Drive since last week.
Ralph Dice lives in the area. “I’ve been here over 30 years and over that period of time there’s been (a number of) break-ins.”One resident didn’t want to be identified. She said she came home from work one day to find two men in her home. “They brought something with them like a crowbar, smashed my back doors, come in through there and ransacked my house.”
We took their concerns to Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis. “We’ve had some issues in that area for a long time.”
Take a look at just how serious the problem is. At least 377 reported crimes in the past year.
- 58 assaults, 46 homes burglarized, 19 vehicles stolen, 27 drug violations and 40 incidents of vandalism.
One street, Pine shadow, accounts for 53 criminal offenses, including a rape, 2 robberies, and 4 aggravated assaults.
Lewis tells News 2 that he knows the area well. “I grew up not far from there. It’s changed over the years… I think some of the other jurisdictions have put a lot of money into law-enforcement and Public Safety and maybe have pushed some of those issues on to us.” We asked him, what is he doing to fight this crime? “I have a community action team deputy assigned to that area. We have increased our law-enforcement activity in that area. But as you can see from the numbers it is somewhat alarming.” He says they have conducted major sweeps in this area. “We spend a lot of time in that area doing proactive patrols and enforcement. Which is what Deputy Kimber Gist was doing the night she was shot.” Dice says he has noticed that. “Sheriff’s come through here on a regular basis. They are quite heavy patrolling here. They are doing what they can.”
Lewis says that area is part of zone 4. He wants to shrink the size of zone 4 to give deputies a smaller area to patrol in the zone.
Lewis is also hoping to get more deputies on patrol soon. 5 just graduated from the police academy, and 5 more deputies are about to graduate.