Clinton man arrested in early joyride

By Chris Berendt - [email protected]
Stevens -

A Sampson man who has had a fair share of run-ins with the law over the years, including recent arrests for assault on an officer, kidnapping and felony hit-and-run, now also stands accused of stealing a vehicle while its owner was in a Clinton convenience store, according to reports from Clinton Police officials.

Airatren Kuan Stevens, 35, of Trappers Run Lane, Clinton, has been charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle, stemming from an April 28 incident. His bond for the single offense was set at $100,000 secured.

Around 5:40 a.m. April 28, a 2008 Toyota Camry was taken from the Han-Dee Hugo’s on Northeast Boulevard. The owner of the vehicle, Eric Conway of Clinton, had stopped at the store. While Conway was purchasing his items, a male subject seen moments earlier walking around outside the store, got into the Camry and left, heading south on Northeast Boulevard.

The clerk was familiar with the male and identified him as Stevens. They called 911 and officers and the victim searched for the vehicle. Conway ultimately saw his car on U.S. 701 Bypass around 8:15 a.m. that same day and called police. There was no damage to the vehicle.

“Officers arrived and found Stevens walking out of a wooded area near the car,” said Clinton Police Chief Donald Edwards. “He was arrested without incident.”

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Stevens has multiple convictions in Sampson County between 1999 to 2013 of felony drug possession and sales, driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, common law robbery and possession of firearm by felon.

His probationary status is listed as inactive, however he has been charged in recent months by local law enforcement in connection with separate cases.

Stevens was arrested in late-September 2017 following a crazy sequence on Beaman Street that ended with a stolen vehicle wrecked into a tree off U.S. 701 Business and two transported to the hospital. He was charged with felony larceny, kidnapping, felony hit-and-run and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance.

He was also charged on March 27 with assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest/hinder and delay.

In the September incident, a Toyota 4-Runner was occupied by a 53-year-old woman when it was taken “by force” from a physical therapy center on Beaman Street, Clinton, police said at the time. Stevens lost control of the Toyota, barrelled through the U.S. 701 and Beaman Street intersection and careening through the grass lot near Isaac Weeks Road before striking a tree, police said.

Stevens attempted to run from law enforcement and was ultimately found in possession of Oxycontin, Edwards noted at the time. He was trying to consume some of the pills when he was arrested. Both he and the woman were transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center to be treated for their injuries. The air bags were deployed and there was some blood inside the vehicle, according to reports.

Stevens was said to be an acquaintance of the two females — there was another who had parked the vehicle — and not impaired at the time. After his release from the emergency room, Stevens was taken before the magistrate and given $150,000 secured bond.

Kidnapping, assault cases still pending

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.