Massive Manhunt Leads to Capture of Bank Robber
Posted October 18, 1996
RALEIGH — A daring daylight bank robbery Wednesday had Raleigh police on full alert and involved in a massive manhunt that ended at about 8 p.m. when police determined that the man they were seeking was not where they thought he was.
Police got a tip that a suspect, 31-year-old Adrian Wiggins, was hiding out at the Days Inn on Highway 70 in Raleigh near the Garner line. Police S.W.A.T. teams were on the scene for several hours.
The third floor of the hotel was cordoned off while officers tried to determine if the man in the hotel was the one they were seeking. When S.W.A.T. officers entered the room, Captain R.E. Deaton told WRAL TV5 the man was not there.
According to Sgt. Charles Bryant, some leads were generated by the discovery of personal belongings, in particular, some identification.
Police say Wiggins is from Raleigh and has an extensive criminal record, including armed robbery charges. He went to jail most recently in 1993.
Wednesday's robbery took place at about 4 p.m. at the Centura Bank on Mechanical Blvd., when Wiggins allegedly implied to a teller that he had a gun, and demanded money. A surveillance camera reportedly caught him in the act.
Jeremy Barnard works nearby and witnessed the aftermath of the robbery.
The suspect then left the bank on foot and headed toward the Days Inn down the street. Police found Wiggins had used his own name to rent a third-floor room there earlier in the day. Other guests were cleared from the hotel when police moved in.
Police said they believe Wiggins may have left the hotel in a taxi with another African-American man. By 11 p.m., the suspect was in custody.