Crime & Courts

Chapin High assistant principal arrested, accused of breaking into car at school

A Chapin High School assistant principal was arrested and charged with breaking into cars on school property.

Richard West Hiller Jr., 44, was found by detectives to have broken into a 2009 Toyota at the school on April 22 and again on May 20, according to a news release. He was charged with two counts of larceny from a motor vehicle. Larceny from a motor vehicle is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The first time, Hiller went to the vehicle three separate times and on the last time, entered the vehicle “with the intent to take something of value,” according to Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon.

On the second break-in, police say Hiller took “an item of value.” Detectives identified Hiller from security camera footage and issued arrest warrants.

“The defendant admitted to entering the vehicle on several occasions, claiming the entries and taking of property within was under the victim’s consent,” according to the arrest warrants, which were signed by magistrate Rebecca Adams.

Hiller turned himself in to police on the morning of July 5 and was held for a few hours at Lexington County Detention Center, according to a news release from the sheriff’s department. Lexington-Richland 5 spokesperson Laura McElveen confirmed Hiller was arrested and the district placed him on administrative leave with pay.

Hiller has no prior arrests in Lexington County. He received a citation in 2012 for speeding in Lexington County, court records show. While serving as assistant principal of Chapin High, Hiller has also served as a boy’s soccer team coach at the school, according to previous reporting by The State. Hiller is also director of Select Soccer, a league within South Carolina United FC, according to what appears to be his LinkedIn page.

Hiller attended Irmo High School and Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, according to previous reporting by The State and what appear to be Hiller’s social media and Linkedin pages.

Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.
David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.