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Police catch unrelated burglar, squatter at the same time


(Last Updated On: March 18, 2023)

Officers responding to a burglary in Simi Valley on Saturday morning were able to not only apprehend the burglary suspect, but an unrelated squatter in the same building, police said.

Officers from the Simi Valley Police Department received a call of a burglary at a Papa John’s Pizza on Tapo Street around 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning after a security guard noticed the front window to the store was broken. 

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Authorities arrived on scene and found Sheila Williamson, 61, of Simi Valley inside the business, where she “threw cleaning chemicals throughout the store,” according to officials. Officers located her hiding inside a bathroom and arrested her for burglary. 

While officers were responding to the burglary investigation, they observed a man, later identified as 52-year-old James Schmidt of Simi Valley, exiting the rear of a nearby vacant business in the same building. 

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Schmidt was detained and it was found that he had broken into the vacant business where police said he had “been living unlawfully.” He was charged with squatting. 

The two incidents were determined to be unrelated, and both Williamson and Schmidt were booked at the Ventura County Jail. 

As reported by KTLA