Police investigating multiple moped thefts

Jesse Allen Smith
Jesse Allen Smith

Myrtle Beach police responded to a rash of moped thefts on Wednesday, according to police reports.

A 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with one of the five moped thefts, but was not charged with taking any of the others on Thursday morning, according to jail records.

Jesse Allen Smith was charged June 10 with petit larceny in connection with a moped theft, possession of burglary tools, and driving under a suspended license, and is currently being held at the Myrtle Beach Jail on a $3,410 surety bond, police said.

Officers were called about the incident they said involved Smith about 5 p.m. Wednesday to a business on the 900 block of North Ocean Boulevard, police said.

Authorities said bystanders saw Smith taking the chained-up moped and called police. An officer patrolling in the area responded and stopped Smith, who said he was given permission to use the moped.

A 22-year-old woman told police she did not know Smith and did not give him permission to use her moped.

Police said they noticed Smith’s driver’s license was suspended when running his name through their information systems and found burglary tools in his backpack.

Officers were first called about a moped theft on Wednesday about noon to a hotel at 1501 S. Ocean Blvd. where two 18-year-old men told police two mopeds were taken from the parking lot, authorities said.

The victims told police they parked the two blue, VIP Future Champion mopeds about 5 a.m. Wednesday, and the mopeds were gone by about 11:45 a.m. later that day.

Police were called again in reference to a stolen moped about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday to a parking lot on the 300 block of Eighth Avenue North where a 21-year-old woman reported that a moped she parked was taken, authorities said.

The moped was property of a rental business on the 600 block of Kings Highway.

Officers were called about another moped theft about 1 p.m. to a different rental store also on the 600 block of Kings Highway, police said.

Police met with an 18-year-old man who told them a moped he rented from the store on Kings Highway was taken from an empty parking lot near Ninth Avenue South and Yaupon Drive, authorities said.

Police have not noted a connection among any of the cases in reports and were still investigating the three other incidents on Thursday morning.

Contact ELIZABETH TOWNSEND at 626-0217 or on Twitter @TSN_etownsend.