Local News

One Of Triangle's Most Wanted Criminals Caught In New York

Posted August 20, 2003

— One of the Triangle's most wanted criminals is in jail.

Authorities said Virgil Harris was arrested in New York and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and violation of a local law. Officers confiscated a loaded .38-caliber revolver from Harris.

Harris told officers that his name was Tony Williams, but his true identity was later confirmed through fingerprints. Officers also found evidence that Harris had been using numerous aliases.

Cary accountant John Rigsbee said he will never forget when Harris walked into Rigsbee's office to rob him in August 2002. Rigsbee said Harris held a gun to his head, taped up his mouth, hands and ankles and handcuffed him to a metal shelf. Rigsbee said he is glad to see closure in the case.

"There's certainly feeling quite a bit of relief. It has been over a year since he came and victimized me and about the same time for the other victims in Chapel Hill and north Raleigh," he said. "Though all, I'm gratefully relieved that we've got Virgil off the streets and his reign of terror is over."

Harris is wanted in Durham on two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of second-degree kidnapping. Those charges stem from a Sept. 18 incident at Waterford Village Apartments.

The victims alleged someone knocked on their apartment door around 3 p.m., claiming to be from the maintenance staff. When the victims opened the door, two men armed with guns came in, demanded money and told the victims to lie on the ground.

The men covered the victims with a blanket and robbed them of $50. The suspects left by jumping off a balcony.

The FBI said Harris was wanted on federal charges. There is no word on whether Harris will first face charges in New York or whether he will be extradited to North Carolina.


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