BPD nabs alleged motor home thief

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Features Editor

Feb. 13, 2001 10 PM

BRUNDIDGE – Police were involved in the recovery of a stolen vehicle Monday which had made some rather interesting twists and turns before stopping in Pike County.

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Police Chief Moses Davenport said his department was alerted to be on the lookout for a

motor home that had been stolen from a Dothan dealership Saturday.

"What happened was that a woman went to the dealership and got into the motor home and drove away," Davenport said. "A salesman saw the vehicle leave the lot, but he thought another salesman was letting a customer test drive the motor home. About two hours later the motor home was not back on the lot, so the salesman who saw it leave on the ‘test drive’ assumed a sale had been made. He asked the other salesman about his ‘sale.’"

Puzzled, the salesman said he had not sold the motor home. He thought another salesman had made the sale, Davenport said.

At that point, the salesmen realized the motor home had been stolen and reported the theft to the Dothan Police Department, who in turn alerted other police departments in the area.

At 8:53 a.m. Monday, a gas drive-off was reported to the Brundidge Police Department from the Chevron station on the corner of Highway 231 and S.A. Graham Blvd.

"A woman pumped $20.09 worth of gas into a motor home and drove away heading south," said Davenport, who was in the area and responded to the call. "When I heard it was a motor home, I thought it might be the one the Dothan Police Department was looking for."

He quickly spotted the motor home and the driver responded to the flashing blue light.

"I turned the light on her about the Texaco station and she pulled over at Ellis Metals," Davenport said.

The driver of the motor home admitted to driving off without paying for the gas.

"She said she didn’t have money to pay for the gas so she just drove off," Davenport said. "However, she said the motor was hers. She bought it."

Davenport ran a check of the license plate and found that the tag was registered to the owner of a Chevrolet Caprice.

"Evidently, she had taken the tag off another car and put it on the motor home," Davenport said. "I took her in and we notified the Dothan police and held her until they picked her up."

Davenport said the motor home dealership paid Chevron for the gas

and Chevron did not press charges against the woman.

Latonia Sabrina Riggs, 28,

who told Davenport that she was from Enterprise, then Ozark, then Hartford, and Dothan, confessed to taking the motor home and was jailed in Dothan on theft charges.

"I don’t really know where Riggs is from," Davenport said. "She said one place then another. We do know that she had just been released from the city jail in Dothan Saturday. She said she got someone to drop her off at the dealership where she drove off in the motor home, but that person was not involved. She said she had been in Hartford visiting her mother. This was a strange incident. If she had not driven off without paying for the gas, no telling where she would have gone."