On Friday, July 18, the Auburn Police Department arrested Steven D. Hollars, a 24 year old male from 157 J Wilson Road in Auburn. Hollars was charged with indecent exposure first degree for allegedly exposing himself in the Dollar Store.
On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at approximately 7:52 p.m., a white male wearing a blue shirt and black shorts entered the Auburn Dollar General Store; after which, he was alleged to have masturbated while peering at several customers and a store employee while he crouched and took cover behind the store’s shelving. Auburn Police Chief Ed Higgins reported the perpetrator committed these acts several times throughout the store for approximately 20 minutes as different customers came and went.
According to reports Hollars also allegedly exposed his genitals to an eight year old girl as well. According to the eight year old’s mother, Higgins said, the perpetrator’s act towards her daughter was intentional. The mother reportedly confronted the perpetrator, at which time, he ran from the store.
Higgins pulled the store’s surveillance camera and began circulating his photograph in attempts to gain identification of the suspect. The video recorded footage with many different camera angles from the date and time in question. Video evidence showed the male subject following adult female customers and a Dollar General employee at separate times around the store.
Higgins contacted the News-Democrat & Leader, who immediately put the photograph on its website, Facebook page and a following edition of the publication.
“After the News-Democrat & Leader assisted the Auburn Police Department by running a still photo of the perpetrator from the Dollar General’s recordings, a tip came in from Detective Eddie Lawson of the Simpson County Sheriff’s Department which led to the where-a-bouts of Hollars,” said Higgins.
Higgins located Hollars and interviewed him on Thursday, July 17. The chief then issued an e-warrant, which was signed by District Judge Sue Carol Browning.
Hollars has already had multiple convictions in Simpson County regarding the same type of crime.
“The Auburn Police Department would like to thank the News-Democrat & Leader and Detective Lawson for assisting in the discovery and capture of this registered sex offender,” said Higgins. “Thanks is also warranted to everyone else who attempted to help in bringing the suspect to justice.”