Family: Suspect in series of Wake hotel robberies has drug, mental health issues

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comNovember 29, 2011 

— Investigators say that the man charged this week with the robberies of at least seven robberies of area motels and hotels has mental health and substance abuse issues.

Court records made public today indicated that police on Saturday went to serve Erik Greyson Huggins with involuntary commitment papers for mental health treatment.

But they wound up charging Huggins, 28, of Raleigh 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 court.

Police say the robberies of hotels and motels in Raleigh and Cary began on Nov. 20 and ended Nov. 25 with Huggins' arrest in the 700 block of Illeagnes Drive in South Raleigh.

Raleigh police say 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. Garner police charged him with robbing the Play-n-Trade retail store on East Timber Drive the same day, court records show.

On Friday, the same day that police say Huggins robbed three Raleigh hotels, a member of his family showed up at the Wake County Magistrate's Office and applied for involuntary commitment papers.

The family member told a magistrate that Huggins was bipolar, addicted to crack cocaine and suicidal, according to court records made public today.

Later that day, police found Huggins sitting in a silver Pontiac Grand Prix that was parked in the driveway of a home in the 700 block of Illeagnes Drive. The police searched Huggins and found a canister of mace that matched the description that had been used to rob a clerk at the Red Roof Inn earlier, court records show.

Police charged Huggins in connection with the robberies early Saturday, authorities reported.

Police say that while they were placing Huggins in custody, a member of his family went into the the Pontiac and removed a olive, military-green suitcase and a pair of black sneakers with white laces.

Police, in a search warrant filed today at the Wake County Magistrate's Office, said the footwear matched the description given by a clerk at the Sheraton that was robbed Friday in downtown Raleigh.

Police also found in the rear of the Pontiac a gray-striped baseball cap that witnesses told police the suspect was wearing in many of the robberies.

In each of the robberies, the hotel and motel clerks told police that the robber was a white man with a slender build. He used a white towel or cloth to cover his face and was armed with a weapon in at least four of the instances. The witnesses described a black knife with a black handle, a cutter and a semi-automatic firearm, police reported.

Investigators searched the Huggins, the 1999 Pontiac and the olive-green suitcase. Court records show that police recovered a white cloth bag with two holes, two temporary license plates, a plaid and gray-striped baseball cap, a Kershaw black knife with a black handle, about $38 in cash and a crack pipe.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service