Beatrice Police arrest carpet cleaner, suspected of theft, drug violations

BEATRICE - Beatrice Police have arrested male and female suspects in a theft and drug investigation.

65-year-old Dale Simmons was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of felony theft, possession of a controlled substance, distribution of drugs and possession of drug money.  Also arrested with him was 37-year-old Stephanie Wieden, on suspicion of drug and drug paraphernalia possession.

Beatrice Police had been investigating reports of theft of coins and jewelry in three separate cases reported at homes where Simmons had been inside, cleaning carpets.  In a July 4th case, a victim reported that 40 silver coins and four gold coins had gone missing.  Police later learned Simmons allegedly had sold two gold coins matching the ones missing, to Beatrice Gold and Silver. Through a pawn shop database, police learned two other coins matching those taken in the burglary had been sold at a Lincoln pawn shop.  The coins missing in the original case were valued at $9,800.

Police also learned Simmons allegedly had sold numerous jewelry pieces to Beatrice Gold and Silver and to a Junction City, Kansas pawn shop.   

Police took two other theft reports August 24th, of missing rings.  Both victims said the suspect had been in their home cleaning before the rings were noticed missing.  Authorities said the rings, valued at $2,650, had been sold to Beatrice Gold and Silver.

Officers also say that Thursday, they learned Simmons had cleaned a carpet for a person this past June, who discovered that several thousand dollars in cash were missing.  The victim had a friend confront Simmons, who allegedly admitted taking the cash, but agreed to pay it back once his house was sold.  Police confirmed that report, through a written arrangement that existed.

Thursday evening, Police observed Simmons’ vehicle pulled into a parking garage at Sixth and Market and remain there for about one hour.  When the vehicle left, it was followed by police to the Gage County Industrial Park, where officers contacted Simmons and a female in the vehicle. 

During a search, police recovered a nine-millimeter handgun from the front passenger floorboard, a zippered bag with a white powder substance from the front console and about $1,100 in cash.   Both occupants were then arrested.

Both Dale Simmons and Stephanie Wieden were being held in the Gage County Jail.

Stephanie Wieden (Gage County Detention Photo)
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