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Deputies Recover Van Reported Stolen From Metropolitan Water District

Richard Lee Simmons, 41, of Jurupa Valley, was allegedly found in possession of the van, equipment belonging to the water district, and a trailer reported stolen from Lake Havasu, Ariz.

Richard Simmons (Booking photo/Riverside County Sheriff's Department)
Richard Simmons (Booking photo/Riverside County Sheriff's Department)

A probationer suspected of stealing a van, trailer and thousands of dollars worth of utility equipment was behind bars today.

Richard Lee Simmons, 41, of Jurupa Valley was arrested Wednesday night after Riverside County sheriff's deputies stopped him in the 8000 block of Limonite Avenue for driving a van reported stolen by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, according to Sgt. Andrew Elia.

The van, taken Dec. 17, was towing a flatbed trailer stolen from Lake Havasu, Ariz., on Tuesday, the sergeant said.

After confirming Simmons was on felony probation, deputies decided to check a property in the 5800 block of Van Buren Boulevard in Riverside, where the suspect was storing items, according to Elia.

"At that location, deputies found tools and other equipment belonging to the Metropolitan Water District," the sergeant said. "Water district employees arrived and took possession of the stolen property, which was valued at $30,000."

Simmons was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of auto theft, receiving stolen property, grand theft and being in possession of controlled substances, with bail set at $50,000.

—City News Service

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