Currituck deputies shut down theft ring

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Clarence Lee Miller


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CURRITUCK — The Currituck Sheriff’s Office has arrested three people in connection with a rash of break-ins in which thousands of dollars in firearms, jewelry and construction equipment were stolen.

Clarence Lee Miller, 46, Lisa Marie Kline, 49, and Deaenara Jean Bowman, 22, all of the 100 block of Bass Terrace on Walnut Island, were arrested on felony theft-related charges on Nov. 21, sheriff’s records show.

Miller is charged with six counts of breaking and entering, six counts of larceny after breaking and entering and two counts of larceny of a firearm. He also is charged with three misdemeanors: assault on a female, battering of an unborn child and assault by pointing a gun.  

Kline and Bowman are each charged with felony breaking and entering and felony larceny after breaking and entering. Kline is also charged with felony larceny of a firearm while Bowman is charged with felony possession of stolen goods.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Matt Beickert said deputies had been eyeing the trio for some time, but the proximate cause for law enforcement’s visit to their Bass Terrace home was a domestic violence call. Miller allegedly had assaulted Bowman, who is pregnant. He also allegedly had pointed a gun during the dispute.  

According to Beickert, after deputies and a sheriff's detective spoke with Miller they obtained search warrants for both the Bass Terrace residence and a storage unit at Currituck Self Storage. Miller, Kline and Bowman were arrested on the felony theft charges following those searches, he said.

Beickert said investigators determined that all three suspects had participated in the break-ins but that Miller was the alleged ring-leader. The trio  apparently chose their targets after slowly riding by them in an SUV, he said. 

According to warrants, the suspects’ largest theft occurred at at residence on Caratoke Highway, where they made off with six shotguns and three rifles worth approximately $3,700. They also allegedly stole approximately $10,000 worth of jewelry from a residence on Narrow Shore Road, warrants show.

Warrants also show that Miller told sheriff's deputies that at one residence, he encountered the owner. When the man asked him what he was doing, Miller said the told him he was searching for his dog. After the homeowner told Miller he could continue searching, Miller said he noticed the man had left a door to his home open. Miller said he later returned and with Kline serving as his lookout, entered and stole firearms from the residence.

According Beickert, Miller also targeted home construction sites or residences that were being repaired.

Warrants show Miller told investigators he went to one home site off Caratoke Highway, where with Bowman as his lookout, he entered and stole approximately half-dozen boxes of flooring, a generator, bathroom vanity, cabinet and faucet. The stolen items totaled $2,450.

At another home under construction on Caratoke Highway, Miller stole $2,150 worth of items, including a pistol, an air compressor, a chainsaw, a drill, a generator, a laptop computer and socket wrenches.

Besides the charges related to the break-ins and the alleged assault of Bowman, Miller is charged with felony possession of a firearm while a felon. Court records show Miller was convicted of burglary and theft in Tennessee in January 1999 and served a prison sentence.

Beickert also said Miller is wanted in Guilford County on misdemeanor charges of breaking into and damaging a currency machine and larceny.

Kline and Bowman are also charged with misdemeanor simple assault for their roles in the alleged domestic violence incident at the trio’s home.

Beickert said Miller is being held at the Currituck Detention Center in lieu of $126,000 secured bond. Kline is also being held at the detention facility in lieu of $1,600 secured bond. Bowman is being held in lieu of $1,500 secured bond at Central Prison in Raleigh.