LOGAN — A 41-year-old Salt Lake City man accused of a “smash and grab” vehicle burglary waived his right to a preliminary hearing while considering a plea deal. Steven M. Bemis was arrested in August on suspicion of breaking into the vehicle, stealing several credit cards and trying to use them.
Bemis participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by web conference from the Utah State Prison. He was previously charged with six counts of unlawful use of a financial card, a third-degree felony and 10 other misdemeanors.
Public defender Mike McGinnis told the court they wished to plead “not guilty” to the charges and waive their right to the preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined whether or not to bind the defendant over for trial. He also explained that prosecutors had offered them a plea agreement but they needed time to consider the offer.
According to an affidavit, Logan City police officers were called to the vehicle burglary on July 11. The victim reported their wallet was stolen, and their credit cards were used at a local car wash shortly after. One of the cards was also used to send $100 to a cash app.
Detectives were able to contact the car wash and get a print out of the cards that were used. They were also able to view security camera footage, showing a man using the stolen cards and a license plate number of the vehicle he was traveling in.
Police ran the plate number and learned the car was registered to Bemis, who was currently out on parole and on probation in Salt Lake.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Angela Fonnesbeck offered Bemis time to consider the plea deal. She ordered him to appear again in court Nov. 16.
Bemis has been transferred to the Utah State Prison. He could face an additional five years if convicted.