By Lauren Zaren
The Best Western hotel in downtown Davis was burglarized on the morning of February 4, 2019. Officers said the suspect was a white male wearing a gray hoodie and tan pants. His face was caught by the hotel’s surveillance footage.
Police Service Specialist Linda Schwend and Officer Mathew Muscardini, both of the Davis Police Department, gave witness testimonies. They both identified the man as Keith Thomas Simmons. Footage shows a man repeatedly entering and exiting a fenced and padlocked maintenance shed, carrying various equipment.
The crime occurred at 3:58 AM on February 4. The suspect took a brand new air compressor, a leaf blower, a power washer, and several other tools. The value of the equipment stolen was estimated to exceed $1,000.
The next day, the surrounding fence was found to be missing its latch. It was found on the ground with the padlock still intact. It appeared to have been pried open.
On February 6, at a Park and Ride in Davis, Simmons was identified in his blue/grey Oldsmobile. Upon searching the vehicle, Officer Muscardini discovered an air compressor of the same brand and color as the one stolen two days before.
Simmons first claimed he bought it himself three months ago. He then changed his story, asserting that he had rented and then bought the compressor. An employee at Best Western identified the compressor as the hotel’s property.
Further evidence was discovered against Mr. Simmons. The search of his vehicle produced three additional suspicious items. The first of these was a blue-handled pair of pliers, which may have been used to pry off the fence latch of the maintenance shed.
Police also recovered a red Milwaukee M18 Drill, with a label that read “Property of West Village” and provided the Davis apartment complex’s phone number. Upon contacting West Village Apartments, the officers learned that it was reported stolen on January 24 to the UC Davis Police Department. A West Village employee recognized the drill and identified Simmons as a visual match to the suspect they caught on tape.
Finally, officers discovered a baggie containing 1.6g of methamphetamine in Simmons’ wallet. Officer Sandeep Maan of Davis Police Department confirmed that the white, clear contents of the baggie were, in fact, this drug. She referenced a narcotics kit she used to evaluate the substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine.
On April 6, Simmons was arrested and transported to the Yolo County Jail by Officer Maan. She testified that he was conversational during the drive, calling the substance “crystal” and claiming he had two grams of the drug.
He also asked the officer how many years she thought he would be “given,” weighing in that he predicted seven, since this was not his first time being incarcerated.
What began as a commercial burglary in downtown Davis expanded into a potential drug conviction and the resolution of a previous theft in West Village.
Simmons evaded the charge of grand theft on the stipulation that the fenced shed constitutes a building or structure. This leaves him vulnerable to a charge of second degree burglary, stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance. He is not currently in custody.
An arraignment will be held on Tuesday, May 21, at 9am.