Ex Hill Murray Hockey Coach Accused Of Stealing

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Ex-Hill-Murray hockey coach accused of stealing

A former prep school girls hockey coach has been charged with allegedly stealing hockey sticks from a Maplewood retail store where he worked, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court.

Michael Richard Simons, 34, of Maplewood coached at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood. He told police he sold the stolen sticks to high school players and junior players in the Austin and Albert Lea areas in southern Minnesota.

But Simons said he sold " ‘just one stick’ to a Hill-Murray girls hockey player because he tried to keep the students where he coached out of what he was doing," according to the criminal complaint.

Simons is listed as the junior-varsity head coach on the Hill-Murray girls hockey website. But varsity head coach Bill Schafhauser said Thursday, May 3, that Simons no longer coaches at the school.

According to the complaint charging Simons with one count of theft, the manager of Total Hockey noticed that the store’s hockey stick inventory was off in December. He watched surveillance video to see if employees were stealing merchandise and saw Simons placing hockey sticks in his vehicle in a Jan. 17 store video, the complaint said.

On Jan. 21, the store conducted a complete inventory while Simons was not working, the complaint said. Simons worked the next day, and store video showed him taking a bundle of hockey sticks from the back office, the complaint said.

The manager conducted another inventory and found that 21 hockey sticks were missing, the complaint said. On Jan. 25, Simons again worked and left the store with a bundle of hockey sticks, the complaint said.

The complaint said the manager confronted Simons about the thefts Jan. 28. Simons told the manager that he could not recall the exact number of sticks he stole because there were so many and that he had lists he was using to take the sticks, the complaint said.

Simons wrote a statement and admitted stealing 11 hockey sticks, and he accused another employee of stealing, the complaint said.

The complaint said Simons then turned over 14 items stolen from the store that had a total retail value of $1,822.86.

Simons later told police he started stealing items from the store during the holidays in December, the complaint said. He said he stole 20 hockey sticks at the most and denied stealing skates, the complaint said. Simons also denied having lists or using his cellphone to fill orders, but said he usually knew ahead of time what he was going to steal, the complaint said.

"Simons said he sold the stolen items through word of mouth to high school players and junior players in the Austin and Albert Lea areas," the complaint said. "Simons said that people would call him and ask what he had for sale."


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