ST. GEORGE – Police arrested a 19-year-old man Saturday who had a rather difficult time getting his story straight after allegedly being caught burglarizing a vehicle in a church parking lot.
Around 10:14 p.m., officers responded to the area of 483 S. Valley View Drive in St. George on a report of a vehicle burglary in progress where a man was caught inside another person’s vehicle rummaging through their belongings, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.
Daniel Harley Simmons, of Goshen, had his body head-first through an open passenger window all the way to his waist, according to the statement. He was actively going through the vehicle’s center console when the owner of the vehicle confronted him.
A passenger had left her bag zipped closed and in the backseat of the vehicle, the statement said. However, the bag was found opened with the keys removed and lying on the front passenger seat next to the vehicle owner’s wallet, both directly below where Simmons was standing.
Simmons was detained by the vehicle owner until police arrived at the scene and interviewed him.
However, officers had a somewhat difficult time interviewing Simmons, according to the statement, as he continually changed his story about what happened every time he repeated the story.
The arresting officer wrote in the statement:
Daniel stated his friend had dropped him off and he saw a guy in the car. The guy ran off when he saw Daniel. Daniel was replacing the wallet and keys as they were lying on the ground. Daniel then state he was walking by, changed the friends name, and stated he just put the wallet back. Daniel then stated he was alone.
A bicycle, which police believe to have been stolen, the statement said, was lying on the ground near Simmons.
“Daniel stated it was not his and the other guy had left it,” the arresting officer wrote. “Daniel then changed his story to he had found the bicycle.”
Simmons was arrested and placed in the patrol car where he continued to change his story about what happened.
After officers advised Simmons of the enhanced charges for bringing drugs to the jail, Simmons allegedly admitted to having a bag, containing marijuana and his marijuana pipe, tucked into the front “reach through pocket” of his underwear, the probable cause statement said.
Simmons rolled his waistband over and officers retrieved the drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Simmons was transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked on a class A misdemeanor charge for burglary of a vehicle, and four class B misdemeanor charges for theft and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Judge G. Michael Westfall, of the 5th District Court, ordered $5,000 bail for Simmons’ release pending trial.
Simmons was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Monday and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Douglas Terry. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Aug. 18.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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