Officers with the Hillsborough Police Department apprehended Steven Earl Riggs, 45, this afternoon at Walmart after receiving a call about a panhandler at that location. Riggs had pending charges out of Orange, Durham, and Person Counties for felony vehicle breaking and entering and larceny of motor vehicle charges.
Last night, troopers from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol investigated a single vehicle crash near the intersection of Wilkerson and Sawmill Road in Cedar Grove. They suspected Riggs was the driver, and they knew warrants existed for his arrest from multiple counties. Meanwhile, nearby residents spotted a man meeting Riggs’ description rummaging through a vehicle. He ran off when confronted, saying someone was trying to kill him. A K-9 track did not locate Riggs, and residents in the area were advised via social media and a reverse 911 call to lock their homes and vehicles.
Several hours later, deputies with Orange County set up a new search in the same general area. While there, they heard a vehicle drive off at a high rate of speed. Upon investigation, they learned from a homeowner that tools were missing from a work vehicle and a second vehicle, a white pickup, was also missing. Deputies entered the truck into NCIC as a stolen vehicle and continued to search for Riggs throughout the night.
Authorities located the missing truck this morning, abandoned near Faucette Mill and Frank Perry roads. A few hours later, the panhandling call came in at Walmart. Hillsborough Police Officer Chad Wilson responded and ultimately recognized Riggs from a bulletin given out earlier in the day.
Authorities from Orange, Person, and Durham Counties responded. Investigator Hall from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office charged Riggs with two counts of Breaking and Entering to a motor vehicle, larceny, and larceny of a motor vehicle for some of the Orange County crimes. Authorities from Person County transferred Riggs to their detention center for further processing.
Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones said, “The arrests today resulted from patient, dedicated law enforcement efforts from agencies across multiple jurisdictions. We flooded several shifts with extra resources in an attempt to capture Riggs. We were not going to stand for his blatant disregard for the property and rights of others, and we are very pleased he is in custody this afternoon.”
Additional charges are expected in Orange County; Investigator Hall is still developing information in those cases. If you have any information about these crimes or any indication your vehicle or its contents were disturbed, please call him at (919) 245-2905.