Gun incident, panhandling and sleeping precede main Myrtle Beach post office branch closing lobby at night, documents show

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A gun incident, panhandling and sleeping are just a few of the incidents in the past year that preceded Myrtle Beach’s main post office branch closing its lobby at night last month, according to documents from Myrtle Beach police obtained by News13.

The branch, located at 505 N. Kings Highway, closed its lobby at night in mid-January, citing “increased safety concerns” and vandalism incidents.

The post office posted a sign on its door stating new lobby hours were Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. And Sundays 9 a.m. to 6p.m.

The lobby used to be open 24 hours a day.

News13 photo: Savannah Denton
News13 photo: Savannah Denton

News13’s Adrianna Lawrence stopped by the post office Thursday and saw the sign was no longer on the door and the door was still unlocked after 8 p.m. Three Myrtle Beach police officers were also inside the lobby.

News13 requested all reports, CAD notes and calls for service from Myrtle Beach police from the location since February 2023. Those were returned on Thursday.

Here are some specific things that happened before the schedule change:

  • Feb. 2, 2023 — Jack Mitchell was charged with loitering after allegedly sleeping in the post office.

  • Feb. 8, 2023 — Christopher Jamar Bellamy charged with loitering after allegedly being inside the post office lobby after-hours.

  • March 3 — Bellamy arrested again, this time accused of sleeping in the post office.

  • March 30 — Bellamy arrested a third time, charged with loitering after allegedly dancing in the post office after-hours.

  • March 30 — Matthew Unger was charged with loitering just minutes after Bellamy.

  • April 1 — Bellamy arrested a 4th time, charged with loitering. He was later accused of being in possession of meth at the Myrtle Beach jail.

  • April 10 — A man was accused of asking people for money at the post office and was cited for panhandling.

  • June 10 — A 911 caller told police that people who were parked there for a nearby concert were shooting “potato guns” and hitting vehicles in the road with debris using golf clubs.

  • Nov. 8 — A man claimed he had a gun pointed at him by someone near the post office and was hit in the head with a shovel by a different suspect.

Carolina Country Music Festival was happening just blocks away from the post office during the 911 call on June 10. The woman also told dispatch that people who appeared to be in their mid-20s were urinating on a tree.

The full audio from the 911 call is below.

A spokesperson for the Postal Service provided News13 with the following statement after the closure last month:

“Protecting the sanctity of the mail and ensuring a safe experience for our customers is extremely important to the Postal Service. In an effort to maintain utmost security, effective Wednesday, January 10, the Post Office Box lobby hours at the Myrtle Beach Main Post Office, 505 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, will be modified as follows.  During the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Monday through Sunday, the lobby will not be accessible. Previously, the Myrtle Beach Post Office Box lobby was accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Recent incidents, including some vandalism and subsequent damage to the lobby area, have necessitated a modification in the hours of operation. P.O. Box customers may retrieve items any day of the week between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Signage is posted advising the public of this change and letters will be provided to all existing P.O. Box holders. There will be no change in the retail hours of operation. Customers who notice any type of suspicious activity may contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on their hotline number at 1-877-876-2455.

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Caleb is a digital producer at News13. Caleb joined the team in January 2023 after graduating from Liberty University. He is from Northern Virginia. Follow Caleb on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.

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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.

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