Clay County prosecutors have charged a parolee with breaking into the Northland residence of interim Kansas City Police Chief David Zimmerman.
Thomas J. Savage III, 19 , of Kansas City, was charged Thursday with burglary and felony stealing in the incident that happened April 24, just over a month before Zimmerman was sworn in as the department’s interim police chief.
Zimmerman replaced Darryl Forté, who led the department for more than six years before he announced his retirement in March.
Zimmerman declined to comment on the burglary.
Savage is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday and is being held in the Clay County jail on $100,000 bond.
According to court records, Savage broke into the residence and stole more than $10,000 in items that included commemorative police badges, a men’s gold wedding band, an anniversary band, a pair of Kansas City police 25-year service rings, a 55-inch television and a Bose music system. The stolen items also belonged to Raymore Police Chief Jan Zimmerman.
Prosecutors reported that David Zimmerman said he left work just before 8 a.m. April 24 and as he turned the corner, he looked back and saw his garage door was closed. When he returned home that evening, the garage door was opened and someone had touched the driver’s side door of the vehicle because there were fresh fingerprints on the driver’s side window.
The back door was damaged, and the residence had been ransacked. Crime scene investigators were summoned and collected evidence and processed the crime scene, according to court records.
On May 2, investigators reportedly identified Savage through a palm print found on the exterior driver’s side window of the vehicle parked in the garage. On the same day, a detective contacted Savage’s probation officer, who said Savage filled out his paperwork that included his home address and his vehicle, which is listed as a blue 2009 Ford Focus with temporary license tags. Savage purchased the car from Auto Start in Overland Park.
On April 3, several weeks before the Zimmerman burglary, officers responded to a home burglary in Kansas City, North. The homeowner said several neighbors had called her and said that her garage door was open, and her dog was running around outside. The victim said she returned home and noticed her rear door was forced open and several items were missing.
Officers canvassing the neighborhood were told by a resident that two males had knocked on his door and asked to cut his grass. The resident said the men drove away in an older model Ford Focus with tinted windows, court records stated.
Savage was arrested Wednesdayin connection to the Zimmerman burglary. Detectives told Savage they found his palm print on the vehicle parked in Zimmerman’s garage and on the garage door.
Savage, who was convicted in December in Jackson County for tampering, asked: “You came and got me all the way from Grandview, to ask me about some (expletive) I got nothing to do with?”