PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. -- Platte County Sheriff's detectives didn't have to go far to nab a suspected car thief. Investigators say it appears Shawn Simmer was trying to do the right thing Friday when he traveled to the Platte County Government office to pay his delinquent taxes, but when Simmer stepped outside he was arrested.
"It never ceases to amaze us. Some of the things people get themselves into,” Captain Erik Holland said.
"This is one of those unusual arrests and reports you don't see every day," Sgt. Jerin Almond said. “Sometimes they’re kind of handed to you in your lap.
Investigators say when he got out of a 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity, Simmer had no idea that he dropped his cell phone right next to the car. A Platte County detective found the phone in the parking lot while walking to her vehicle.
The detective, on the force for more than 15 years, ran the license plate and discovered the car had been stolen from Grandview on Tuesday. A few minutes later, a clueless Simmer returned to the stolen vehicle and got a big surprise.
“Detectives waited for the individual to come back to the vehicle, which he did, attempted to get in the vehicle and leave and that's when he was arrested,” Sgt. Almond said.
He was arrested thanks to an eagle-eyed, veteran detective, who's receiving high praise from fellow officers. Simmer is charged with tampering with a motor vehicle. The owner of the car now has her vehicle back.
“We're always glad when we have observant officers out there and they're trying to do the right thing," Cpt. Holland said.
So, it's the weekend before Christmas and Simmer will stew in the Platte County jail until he pays a $10,000 bond.