Couple leaving toy store says they caught a burglar in the act and chased him down


A man and woman walked out of a Toys R Us store to find a stranger rummaging through their car. They confronted the suspected car bandit, chasing him to a nearby store Monday night.

Thirty-year-old Eric James Baxter of Conway was arrested and charged with public intoxication after telling police he was drunk and thought the couple’s car was his vehicle, according to a Myrtle Beach Police Department incident report.

Police said they found a pack of cigarettes, reported stolen from the vehicle, in Baxter’s backpack when he was searched during his arrest. Baxter said he had found the pack on the ground, according to the report.

Officers have requested a warrant to charge Baxter with breaking into motor vehicles.

The Toys R Us shoppers told police they were leaving the store when they saw Baxter in their car and told him they were calling the police. Witnesses say that’s when Baxter “took off on foot.”

The couple followed him to Ross, a few stores up, where they met police and fingered Baxter as the suspect.

Baxter has been arrested at least five other times this year in Horry County on charges of petty larceny, public intoxication, shoplifting and damaging property. He was found guilty of the five separate charges and sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to court records.

Emily Weaver: 843-444-1722, @TSNEmily