Black Bike Week, has gained a high degree of notoriety for unleashing a crime wave across the Grand Strand. The event and the Town of Atlantic Beach have drawn fire from a number of Horry politicos, including County Council Chair Tom Rice and State Rep. Tracy Edge.
This year, Secretary of State "Dirty Harry" Mark Hammond joined the festivities, teaming up with Horry County cops to raid event vendor stands, which are leased out by town government, arresting three and seizing over half a million dollars in fake merchandise.
Merchandise items seized in the bust included counterfeit merchandise included CDs, jeans, sunglasses, hats, handbags, shoes, wallets, cell phone covers, iPad covers, and DVDs. Some companies whose products were counterfeited included Air Jordan, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Major League Baseball, Motion Picture Association of America, National Hockey League, NCAA, NFL, Nike, Oakley, Polo, Recording Industry of America, True Religion and Versace.
For the life of us, we can't fathom how people would think they'd be buying legit brand-name products from a vendor's table, but we suppose not everyone has a clue.
But this raid was just the tip of the iceberg for the town that looks like the most corrupt and/or inept in South Carolina.
Last year, they hired a town manager who had previously been fired from his role as the town's police chief and the last Mayor was the target of arrests and convictions. This year, the town's manager refused to return voting machines amid a controversial town election and SLED was brought in to investigate a claims made against the now-former town manager.
The town decision to extend their Bikefest to overlap with the Myrtle Beach-based Harley-Davidson motorcycle rally and other regional events didn't go over well with numerous officials in the year. It's believed the town's go-it-alone attitude, the issues involving the town and the "wild west" climate surrounding the motorcycle festival may have contributed to declining business and turnout at this year's event.