Suspect in Raleigh hotel robberies arrested

Police say the man robbed seven hotels and motels in Raleigh and Cary.

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comNovember 27, 2011 

— Erik Greyson Huggins of Raleigh should have been in a drug treatment program. Instead, Raleigh police say he went on a six-day robbery spree.

Police on Saturday arrested Huggins, 28, and charged him with more than a half-dozen robberies of hotels and motels in Raleigh and Cary.

Raleigh detectives detained Huggins early Saturday in the 700 block of Ileagnes Drive in South Raleigh, said Jim Sughrue, a police spokesman.

Investigators charged Huggins with four counts of armed robbery, four counts of common law robbery, two counts of simple assault, two counts of assault on a female, one count of attempted larceny and one felony count of failure to appear in drug treatment court.

Investigators say the hotel and motel robberies began Nov. 20 and ended Nov. 25. In four of the robberies, witnesses told police a man wielded either a black knife, a cutter or a semi-automatic firearm. The physical description in all of the robberies was of a white male with a slender build who covered his face with a white cloth or towel.

Raleigh police say on Friday Huggins robbed the Red Roof Inn on South Saunders Street, the Sheraton in downtown and the Comfort Suites on Capital Boulevard. He also is charged with robbing the city's Wingate, Comfort and Rodeway inns, police reported.

Cary police charged him with the Nov. 23 armed robbery of the Hilton Doubletree on Caitboo Avenue, and Garner police charged him with robbing the Play-n-Trade retail store on East Timber Drive the same day, court records show.

Raleigh police looked for Huggins since August, when a Wake County judge issued a warrant for his arrest after he failed to appear in drug court, records show. Police got a clue to his whereabouts Nov. 19, when Huggins allegedly tried to steal an XBox 360 video game console from Walmart and pepper-sprayed an employee and another customer.

Craig Lamar Jones, 44, of Fuquay-Varina was shopping at Walmart that day when he heard a store cashier scream for help.

"She was yelling, 'Stop him,' " James said in a phone interview Saturday after Huggins' arrest.

Jones said he ran over to help the cashier and that the man who was "grappling" with another store employee pepper-sprayed him in the face. The man eventually fled to the parking lot and jumped into a car with paper license plates.

"I kicked him in the crotch and it had no effect on him," Jones said. "His eyes were dilated. No screams or yells, he was just a silent, emotionless individual."

Jones said while he wrestled with the man, he was able to get a wallet out of his back pocket. He gave it to police when they arrived. When the police pulled out a Bank of America credit card with Huggins' picture on the front, Jones told police, "that's exactly who it is."

Huggins remained in custody Saturday afternoon at the Wake County jail. He is being held under $2.2 million bail. He also was ordered by a Wake County magistrate to undergo a mental health evaluation, court records show.

McDonald: 919.829-4533

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