Police: Man stole jewelry, cigarettes

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A Montgomery man with a substantial criminal history is potentially facing between 10 and 99 years in prison after he was arrested and charged with going on a multi-city theft spree involving cigarettes and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

Simmons

The Alabaster Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office arrested 23-year-old Willie James Simmons on Feb. 2 and charged him with one felony count of first-degree theft of property and three misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree theft of property.

Simmons’ charges came after he allegedly stole nearly $4,800 worth of jewelry from the Kay Jewelers store at Alabaster’s South Promenade shopping center on Nov. 11, 2017, and stole a total of about $460 worth of Newport cigarettes from the Cowboys, Shop-N-Fill Chevron and Walgreens off U.S. 280 on Oct. 13, 2017.

As of Feb. 5, Simmons was being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $105,000, which was set higher than normal at the request of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

In its request to raise Simmons’ bond, the DA’s Office said the suspect has a previous conviction for second-degree theft of property, and was on bond on a second-degree theft of property charge when he was arrested on the most recent theft charges.

Simmons also had a fourth-degree theft of property warrant from the Clanton Police Department, three fourth-degree theft of property warrants from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and a fourth-degree theft of property warrant from the Calera Police Department when he was arrested on Feb. 2.

“Due to defendant’s criminal history, he faces a sentencing range of 10 to 99 years or life” if convicted of the most recent theft charges, according to the DA’s Office.

As of Feb. 5, Simmons did not yet have a future hearing date listed in Shelby County District Court.