Polk arrests woman for stealing $100k of Civil War antiques

Published 7:03 am Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Columbus woman last week accused of breaking into a home and stealing more than $100,000 worth of Civil War era antiques, many of which were hand crafted in Charleston during the Civil War.
WillowMillerWillow Miller, 36, of 160 Shuford Rd., Columbus was arrested and charged with 16 counts of felony breaking and entering, 16 counts of felony larceny and 16 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, according to sheriff reports.
Investigators say Miller broke into the victim’s home, which was an individual she knew, on at least 16 different occasions. Each time she entered the residence, Miller took family heirlooms, according to reports.
The items stolen included different types of sterling silver dinnerware that had been handed down several generations of the family. The silver has an appraised value of more than $100,000, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators so far have located and recovered some of the items, but approximately $90,000 worth is still unrecovered.
The investigation into the case was unusual because a report was not filed.
Investigators discovered that Miller had been taking the antique silver to area businesses in exchange for cash, began monitoring her transactions and gathered additional information about her.
Investigators confronted Miller and it was confirmed she had illegally taken the items from the victim and was taking them to area gold exchange businesses.
“The conclusion was a result of proactive policing,” said Lt. BJ Bayne. “There was never a report filed.”
Bayne said she and other investigators knew something was not right about the items being sold and started their own investigation to determine where Miller was getting the items from and from whom.
Miller is currently being held for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at the Transylvania County Detention Facility under a $250,000 secured bond. Miller appeared in court on June 30.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox