Martin County Authorities Seeing Increase in Burglaries

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MARTIN COUNTY - It's only been 3 months into the new year and  Martin County has already had about 8 reported burglaries, including one that happened on Monday night.

"If a thief wants to get in here, they're going to get in here," Myril Mitchell, manager of the "Four Way Gin Company," said.

Mitchell was surprised to see the front door to his office kicked open early Saturday morning.

"Personally I think it was somebody that's familiar of things out here. Someone that's been here at some point of the other and knows the business is here," Mitchell said.

In all, the burglars took off with 3 guns, about $100 in cash, and even found their way through Mitchell's stash of alcoholic drinks.

"It was obvious they were drinking," Mitchell said.

According to Martin County Sheriff's Department, they've seen an increase in burglaries. In fact, authorities say they've more than doubled in comparison to last years reported incidents.

"It's surprising that it's happening, it's definitely in the air.  We had burglaries of homes, cars and a restaurant robbed at gun point. Most of the stuff is valuables that they can sell for cash or exchange for drugs," Martin County Sheriff, John Woodward, said.

Both Mitchell and Sheriff Woodward believe the economy is partly to blame.

"It's hardships. The people we catch say they do it for the money, people who can't get a job because of drug problems. This is their way to get money," Woodward said.

"It shocks me that this is going on. We're not used to having that in this area," Mitchell said.

If you have any information on the recent burglary at "Four Way Gin," you're asked to call the Martin County Sheriff's Department.