General Crime

Nicholas Simat charged stealing iPhones, iPads from a number of San Mateo County businesses pleaded no contest

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A man charged with stealing iPhones and iPads from a number of San Mateo County businesses pleaded no contest Thursday to four felony counts of commercial burglary, prosecutors said. Nicholas Anthony Simat entered the plea Thursday as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in return for the dismissal of the remaining nine counts. However, the remaining counts will still be considered in sentencing, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Simat, a 26-year-old Pleasanton resident, 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. In the thefts, a white male suspect entered numerous businesses and engaged employees in long conversations.

The suspect 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, the suspect stole their phones and tablet computers, police said.

Simat was located at a friend’s house in Pinole and arrested after he allegedly admitted to detectives that he was responsible for the thefts, according to police. He allegedly said he was addicted to heroin and OxyContin and stole the phones to fund his drug habit. Simat’s sentencing is scheduled for May 31 at 9 a.m. He remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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