Arroyo Grande man arrested on suspicion of stalking — with an assault rifle in his car

Police found an assault rifle, high-capacity magazines and other weapons in the car and home of an Arroyo Grande man arrested on suspicion of stalking, according to a news release from the Santa Maria Police Department.

Santa Maria police detectives identified Thomas Simmons, 31, as a suspect in an ongoing stalking investigation and enlisted the help of the Arroyo Grande Police Department.

Arroyo Grande police officers conducted a traffic stop on Simmons on May 3. Then Santa Maria police detectives arrested Simmons.

In his car, police said they found an assault rifle with “loaded high-capacity magazines,” a loaded handgun and more ammunition. When police later searched his house, they found more firearms and ammunition, according to the release.

While Simmons was not arrested on suspicion of any weapons-related charges, Santa Maria Police Lt. Paul Van Meel said some of the items he possessed were illegal to have, such as high-capacity magazines.

It is currently unclear what Simmons planned to do with the weapons he had, Van Meel said.

Simmons was taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony stalking and dissuading a witness, according to the release. He is being held without bail, according to jail records.

Police ask anyone with information regarding the case to call Detective Cassandra Stowasser at 805-928-3781, ext. 2288, or the department’s tip line at 805-928-3781, ext. 2677.

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