Alligator Kills Burglar Who Hid From Police

A suspected burglar who is thought to have hidden from officers in a pond following thefts at a Florida community was killed by an 11ft alligator, authorities have said.

Matthew Riggins, 22, had told his girlfriend he would be in Barefoot Bay to carry out a series of burglaries with another suspect.

Brevard County Sheriff's Major Tod Goodyear said authorities received calls on 13 November about two suspicious men dressed in black walking behind homes in the area.

Deputies said Riggins called his girlfriend to tell her they were being chased and were hiding after they responded to the calls along with a police dog.

Riggins was reported missing the following day. His body was found on 23 November floating in a pond. He had suffered injuries consistent with an alligator attack, Mr Goodyear said.

He told Bay News 9: "He probably went into the lake to hide from the officers and the dog, and came across that gator.

"To hide somewhere to try and get away, and then meeting up with an animal like that, no, I've never had that happen before."

Authorities said Riggins had drowned and the alligator, which behaved aggressively toward divers, was later trapped and euthanised.

The suspect's hand and foot were reportedly found inside the alligator's stomach.

Investigators have said another man thought to have been with Riggins has refused to co-operate. He has not been charged.