Andrew Dys

Rock Hill business owners happy to see increased police presence

When it comes to increased police presence, the only people who don’t want to see more cops, more often, are the crooks.

So Tuesday’s announcement by area police that increased patrols will target North Cherry Road near Celanese Road and the Interstate 77 Exit 82 interchange with increased patrols came as welcome news to the people trying to make a living along that busy commercial strip.

“It’s a great idea, because having more police out here will allow them to keep an eye on things even more,” said David Daniels, co-owner of Muffler Masters at the corner of Cherry Road and Riverview Road. “This area around here, people do all kinds of stuff.”

Just in the parking lot of the business, one car was dented and another had an antennae ripped off – in broad daylight. Behind the business there was a shooting in 2012, and in 2011 there was a murder at one of the motels down Riverview Road.

Police have responded to several robberies at the motels in the past couple of years, and a kidnapping in 2012.

A clerk at the title loan business across Cherry Road was robbed in 2012, too.

“Anybody knows that seeing more police is a deterrent to crime,” Daniels said.

On Tuesday, officials with the Rock Hill Police Department, the Highway Patrol and the State Transport Police announced that there will be a sharp increase in patrols in that stretch to cut down on collisions, violent crime and property crime.

On Riverview Road, B&B Tire and Wheel recently had a bunch of tires stolen, so the news of more police nearby is a positive, said Nick Best, who runs the business.

The large apartment complexes along Patriot Parkway also will see the benefits of increased police presence and visibility.

“The statistics are clear in every case – visibility of police is a deterrent to crime and makes the quality of life better,” said state Rep. Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, who owns a car sales business on Riverview Road.

“We have been pleased to date with service where we are, but more officers looking out for the public is a good thing for the people who live near here and the businesses that operate here.”

The area has heavy traffic and interstate access, which can give thieves a window of opportunity. In May, workers at both the Hampton Inn and Microtel Inn were robbed at gunpoint. A Mauldin man was arrested days afterward, and was linked to other motel robberies near Greenville.

Those businesses on Riverview Road have invested millions of dollars in buildings, inventory and equipment.

Sometimes the area at night has problems with fights, arguments and other problems, as there is a large transient population from the cluster of motels, said Jason Nesbit, owner of Best Way Automotive, a repair shop on Riverview Road.

“This is a good thing for everyone around here, especially at night when businesses are closed,” Nesbit said. “I’m glad to hear of the increased patrols.”