Man accused of stealing identity, trying to buy watch worth $640,000

Crime Tracker

Metro police worked with a local bank, high-end watch store in California and a national shipping company to track down a man accused of identity theft.

Michael Jerome Simmons, 55, was arrested Thursday and charged with criminal simulation, identity theft and attempted theft over $250,000. The watch he is accused of trying to steal is worth more than half-a-million-dollars.

According to his arrest affidavit, Pinnacle Bank and police contacted Westime, a luxury watch store in California, saying a fraudulent check was written by someone pretending to be a customer to buy a watch valued at $640,000.

Police say Westime agreed to send an empty box to the imposter customer so they could find out who it was and arrest them. 

Thursday afternoon, Metro police say UPS delivered the box to Simmons and say he gave a fake ID and signed for the package. Officers were nearby and arrested Simmons.

Officers say Pinnacle Bank would have lost $640,000 if Westime cashed that check.

It’s unclear if Simmons knew the victim or how he was able to steal his identity, like police suspect he did.

News 2 is tracking crime where you live with CrimeTracker reports. Click here for more coverage.

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