Pleasanton man cops plea in string of thefts | June 7, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - June 7, 2013

Pleasanton man cops plea in string of thefts

26-year-old stole electronics to fund his drug addiction

by Glenn Wohltmann

A Pleasanton man faces a July 30 sentencing after admitting to stealing iPhones and iPads from a number of San Mateo County businesses.

Nicholas Anthony Simat, 26, pleaded no contest to four felony counts of commercial burglary, prosecutors said. In a plea deal, nine additional counts were dropped against Simat, although those crimes will be considered when he's sentenced next month.

Simat was identified as a suspect in a string of burglaries dating back to late February in South San Francisco, Burlingame and Daly City after police released surveillance photos and a suspect description, according to South San Francisco police.

He told police he was addicted to heroin and OxyContin and stole the electronics to pay for his drug habit.

In the thefts, Simat entered numerous businesses and engaged employees in long conversations. He introduced himself as "Mike" or "Michael" and told employees at the businesses that he was a "computer guy" who had just inherited a sum of money, police said.

When the employees were distracted or called away -- sometimes when Simat asked for a glass of water -- he stole their phones and tablet computers, police said.

Simat was found at a friend's house in Pinole and arrested after he admitted to detectives that he was responsible for the thefts, according to police.

He remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.