Thigpen was able to free himself and call police, who arrived too late to catch the suspect.
Thigpen played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee until the Titans waived him at the end of last season. He has made Charlotte his offseason home for four years.
In other news:
AIKMAN: Weighing TV job
Troy Aikman is considering job offers from NFL teams and broadcast networks and will likely decide in a few weeks which to take, his agent, Leigh Steinberg said.
Aikman, 34, is a free agent after 12 seasons in Dallas. He has suffered four concussions in his last 20 games. Steinberg said he spoke to Kansas City about Aikman replacing Elvis Grbac as the starter and Denver offered him a backup role. He said other teams called, too, but declined to name them.
PANTHERS: Sign Steussie
Todd Steussie, a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle, and the Carolina Panthers, who surrendered a league-high 69 sacks last season, agreed to a six-year, $28 million deal. Steussie, 30, was released by the Vikings in a salary-cap move.
BENGALS: QB's trial set
A trial date of April 16 was set for Cincinnati quarterback Akili Smith on charges of drunken driving. Smith was pulled over Feb. 8 for driving the wrong way on a one-way street in San Diego.
THOMAS: Estate sale
Fans and memorabilia seekers picked over the estate of the late Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas in Independence, Mo., with some waiting hours to buy hats, autographed pictures and clothing. Thomas died last year of complications after an auto accident in Kansas City left him paralyzed.
OBITUARY: Oldest ex-player
Dr. James Ailinger, the NFL's oldest former player, has died at 99. Ailinger, a former dentist, died Tuesday in Rochester, N.Y. He played one season, 1924, as center and nose guard for the Buffalo Bisons.
RAIDERS: Trial update
A construction company executive testified that he worked with the Raiders in early 1995 on plans for a stadium at Hollywood Park that would take 18 months to construct and cost $170 million to build and furnish.
Ronald N. Tutor, president of Tutor-Saliba, said a set of preliminary drawings was done for a facility that Raiders owner Al Davis wanted to be "state of the art, the best." That planning ended however, when Davis decided to move the team from Los Angeles to Oakland in June of that year.
The testimony came in the Raiders' $1 billion lawsuit against the NFL. The suit claims the league forced the Raiders to leave Los Angeles by sabotaging the stadium deal with a push for a second team to play there.
COWBOYS: Campo surgery
Dallas Cowboys coach Dave Campo, 53, will have hip-replacement surgery at the end of next season. He said he has no cartilage in his left hip and needed a cortisone shot to make the NFL owners' meeting in California. *