HAMLET — A break-in suspect with outstanding warrants was nearly hit by oncoming traffic as he led police on a foot chase Wednesday morning.
According to Maj. Hudson Chitwood, officers investigated a home break-in on Hylan Avenue on Aug. 29 after a gun safe with several firearms was stolen.
The suspects were described as two black males in a white Pontiac with stock rims.
Chitwood said he saw a vehicle matching the description at a business property Wednesday.
The seats were slid forward and Chitwood suspected the safe may have been inside.
Instead, he says 22-year-old Jaquan Lee Tillman was sleeping.
Chitwood reportedly noticed a velcro patch that was listed as one of the reported stolen items.
When Chitwood woke up the sleeping suspect, he says Tilman “bolted” and was nearly hit by traffic as he crossed the highway.
Chief Dennis Brown and two sergeants reportedly assisted Chitwood in the foot chase and Tillman was caught.
A search of the vehicle netted a stolen AR-15 — which was loaded and covered with clothing near where Tillman was sleeping — body armor and ammunition magazines, according to Chitwood.
Tillman was charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Tillman was also served with outstanding warrants from the Rockingham Police Department, stemming from an incident in May, charging him with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count each of discharing a weapon into an occupied property, assault by pointing a gun and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Online records with the Richmond County Jail show Tillman is also facing charges of obtaining property by false pretenses and larceny of a motor vehicle.
Tillman is being held on a combined $555,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 22.
Tillman’s parole ended on Jan. 29, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.
He was convicted in June 2019 of robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault inflicting serious injury and accessory after the fact of a felony. Tillman was initially given a suspended sentence, but his probation was revoked in December of that year, landing him behind bars for nearly 14 months.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.