Former Fugitive Files Suspect Sentenced to 20 Years - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Former Fugitive Files Suspect Sentenced to 20 Years

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A former burglary suspect profiled on News 3's Fugitive Files will spent the next 20 years in jail.

33 year old Richard Chaffin, Jr. pled guilty to 11 counts of Burglary and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Assistant Chatham County District Attorney Sneh Patel detailed that Chaffin, Jr. was responsible for a burglary spree across Pooler, Savannah and Chatham County in early 2012 that saw 11 separate residences robbed.

Chaffin, Jr. was a habitual violator, with numerous arrests and charges in the past; including burglary, theft by receiving stolen property, theft by taking and probation violation.

Due to numerous prior convictions, ADA Patel was able to prosecute Chaffin, Jr. under the Recidivist Clause.

The Recidivist Clause ensures that criminals with 3 prior felonies are required to serve the maximum allowable sentence without parole for their crimes. This holds true even for State level misdemeanor offenses.

Effectively utilizing the Recidivist Clause and keeping repeat offenders off the streets where they can't commit additional crimes was a promise District Attorney Meg Heap made last year when running for office.



This week's suspect is Richard Chaffin.  

He is wanted for a series of burglaries in Pooler and Chatham County. Police say they wouldn't have known about his crime spree without the help of an observant neighbor.

"He noticed a van that was parked out front that was out of the ordinary," explains Detective Sgt. John Schmitt. "He noticed a man get out and do some suspicious activity that wasn't quite right. He called police and was able to get the tag number off the van."

That tag number led investigators to Chaffin's home, where they were seconds from an arrest.

"He was walking in the front door when a very large dog prevented us from getting to the residence quickly," explained Detective Schmitt. "In the process of that, he was able to get out the back of the residence and is still on the loose."

Police were able to find $10,000 to $15,000 worth of stolen merchandise inside the home.  

That connected Chaffin to 4 thefts in their city, and 2 more in the county.  

Richard Chaffin is 5 foot, 9 inches tall, weighs 185 pounds, and could be staying in the Pooler area or Effingham County where he has family.  

If you can help investigators find him, call Pooler Police or Crimestoppers at 234-2020.  

All tips are anonymous and you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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