Home Crime Ellerbe man charged with stealing power, bus

Ellerbe man charged with stealing power, bus

ELLERBE — A man is accused of stealing electricity — and a bus.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy noticed a drop cord running from the electric meter of one home to an unoccupied neighboring home in Ellerbe on Wednesday, May 28.

When contacted by the sheriff’s office, the property owner reportedly said that the home was supposed to be empty and asked that deputies go inside to make sure everything was OK.

Deputies reportedly saw a Richmond County Schools activity bus parked between the two properties. RCSO reportedly contacted the district bus garage and confirmed the bus had been taken.

According to Cameron Whitley, RCS executive director of communications, garage staff discovered the bus missing Wednesday morning and discovered it had been taken just after midnight.

The alleged suspect, 37-year-old Chad Dwayne Giddens, of Ellerbe, was reportedly identified through surveillance video.

Deputies reportedly found Giddens hiding in a closet inside the unoccupied home.

Giddens was arrested and charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering, and injury to utility company property property.

A press release posted to the RCSO Facebook page states that Giddens was initially held in the Richmond County Jail without bond. However, online jail records showed on May 31 that he was being held on a $25,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in court June 13.

Online court records show Giddens also has pending charges of: financial card theft; financial card fraud; resisting a public officer; and second-degree trespassing.


Giddens has several prior convictions dating back 10 years, according to the N.C. Department of Adult Correction.

He was first convicted in 2014 of assault on a female; and of driving while impaired in both 2019 and 2021.

Giddens’ probation on the second DWI conviction was revoked two months later and he spent six months behind bars.

Records show Giddens was given a suspended sentence (no time frame) in December of 2023 when he was convicted on two counts of misdemeanor larceny and one count of unauthorized use of motor conveyance.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.