Mount Pleasant is considered to be the safest city in South Carolina when it comes to the number of robberies per capita, according to a report from Frontpoint that analyzes FBI crime statistics nationwide. Last year, Mount Pleasant had the lowest robbery rate in the state with 24 incidents from its 87,216 residents.
"It tells me that the men and women who are out there protecting our community every day are doing a great job deterring those who who want to commit robberies," said Mount Pleasant Police Department Chief Carl Ritchie.
The FBI defines robbery for its Uniform Crime Reporting statistics as the “taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence or by putting the victim in fear.” In Frontpoint's data, robbery is made distinct from burglary which involves forcible entry or breaking and entering.
Mount Pleasant averages 2.75 robberies per 10,000 people. The national average is 9.8, according to Frontpoint.
"It's just a good feeling to know that we are able to provide such great, proactive law enforcement," Ritchie said. "To be recognized the least robbed in the state is pretty incredible."
As for the most robbed city in S.C., Myrtle Beach suffered 146 robberies last year. Charleston fell victim to 100 robberies while Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island both recorded zero, excluding auto-thefts, according to Frontpoint. These statistics are complied from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting data consistent with each municipality's police department database.
Ritchie said the difference in crime rates between municipalities like Mount Pleasant and Myrtle Beach comes down to visible and proactive patrol. He noted officers are constantly keeping a presence by patrolling businesses like banks and being in close contact with citizens.
"If you come over here and commit these type of robberies, your likelihood is very high of getting caught right away," Ritchie said. He commended his team of investigators who track down robbery suspects within one to two weeks following a crime or sooner.
Despite Mount Pleasant's robbery rate being well below the average, Ritchie is still never surprised when the rare incident occurs. He admits more times than not the robberies are committed by non-residents and sometimes not even remotely close to the Charleston area.
Ritchie reflected that the most common robberies in Mount Pleasant are drug deals gone wrong and shoplifting incidents that become escalated.
In 2017, there were 319,356 robberies nationwide, which is the lowest robbery rate in the U.S. in the past 20 years, according to Frontpoint. There were 13,441 fewer robberies in 2017 than in 2016.
To see the full list of S.C. city and town crime stats, click here.