Home Local News Man accused of stealing crab legs in Hamlet arrested in Laurinburg

Man accused of stealing crab legs in Hamlet arrested in Laurinburg

Richard Wayne Chavis, who has a criminal history dating back more than 30 years, is accused of stealing three packs of crab legs from Piggly Wiggly in Hamlet on Dec. 31.
Courtesy: Hamlet Police Department

HAMLET — A man caught on camera allegedly stealing crab legs from a grocery store on New Year’s Eve was arrested four days later in another county.

According to an arrest warrant issued Jan. 3, 49-year-old Richard Wayne Chavis Junior, of Fairwood Road, stole three bags of crab legs, valued at $81, from the Hamlet Piggly Wiggly on Dec. 31.

Investigators with the Hamlet Police Department posted a photo of the suspect and getaway car to Facebook on Jan. 2, asking for the public’s help with identifying the suspect.

Chavis was arrested by an officer with the Laurinburg Police Department on Jan. 4.

He is charged with a single count of misdemeanor larceny and was given a $500 unsecured bond, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 21.

Online court records show Chavis is also facing a misdemeanor larceny charge in Scotland County, with a Jan. 29 court date.

Chavis’ criminal history dates back more than 30 years, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.

He was first convicted on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and trespassing in 1986 and received his first of three convictions for driving while impaired in 1988.

In 1990, Chavis was convicted of assault on a policeman and two counts of damage to property. Initially given probation, that was soon revoked and he spent two weeks behind bars in May of 1991.

In September of 1992, he was convicted on three counts of damage to property. Online state records show his release date as Oct. 9, 1992, but the sentence-begin dates for the second and third of what were labeled as consecutive sentences are Dec. 24, 1992 and March 25, 1993, respectively.


Twenty days after his release, Chavis was given probation on his first misdemeanor larceny conviction.

Chavis was again convicted of misdemeanor larceny in 1995, and later that year of simple assault, communicating threats and two counts of resisting a public officer. He served nearly four months on those convictions.

He went back to prison in 1998 after being convicted on felony charges of  involuntary manslaughter and hit and run, as well as misdemeanor charges of willful or wanton injury to property, failure to report an accident and his second DWI.

Nearly a year following his release, he was behind bars again on a felony larceny from person conviction in 2001.

Throughout the rest of the decade, Chavis was in and out of prison due to convictions of: DWI; assault on a female; felony larceny; driving with a revoked license; and assault inflicting serious injury.

Chavis’ last conviction, in 2011, landed him back behind bars for felony breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering.

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


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.