Bellevue detectives arrested a 29-year-old male and 24-year-old female at a Renton hotel Friday. The pair is suspected of multiple car thefts from car dealerships across the state. Investigators say on August 2, 2022, the two drove a suspected stolen vehicle to a Bellevue dealership and asked the salesperson to move a similar vehicle to compare with theirs. They then asked for the Carfax report, and when the salesman returned, both vehicles were gone.
Detectives believe this duo is responsible for many other area thefts. Both have felony warrants for their arrest in Moses Lake on charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and Attempted to Elude Police. Moses Lake police arrested both suspects, and after they bailed out of jail, they failed to appear for their court dates.
During a search warrant at the couple’s hotel, detectives recovered a stolen BMW, a stolen gun, various key fobs and multiple pieces of suspected stolen credit cards, checks and IDs.
Bellevue detectives have busted three major regional organized retail theft rings responsible for well over $100,000 in stolen merchandise.
In one case, four suspects are charged, three with working together to steal over $93,000 in handbags from Louis Vuitton in Bellevue, and the fourth with selling the stolen bags. Investigators say the crew hit the same Louis Vuitton twice in June 2022. Detectives found the stolen bags for sale online, set up a buy, and arrested one of the suspects. The King County Prosecutor charged Billy Chambers, Memory Yearby and Earnetra Turner with two counts of Organized Retail Theft in the 1st Degree. In addition, Trey Kendall was charged with Trafficking in Stolen Property in the 1st Degree. All four have extensive criminal histories, according to charging documents.
“These suspects were aggressive and coordinated in their efforts and often physically confronted employees or security who stood in their way,” said Captain Shelby Shearer. “These crew also caused significant damage to the stores during the thefts, causing some businesses to close for the day to clean up the mess.”
A second case (photos above) involves a 24-year-old suspect accused of multiple thefts totaling nearly $13,000 from Bellevue’s Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack in October and November 2021. Detectives say Janay Luckey brazenly walked into the stores, cut security tags off merchandise and left without paying. She’s then accused of selling the merchandise online. The King County Prosecutor’s Office charged Luckey with Organized Retail Theft in the 1st Degree and two counts of Trafficking in Stolen Property in the 1st Degree. She is also charged with five counts of organized retail theft and trafficking out of Seattle, totaling more than $84,000 in those cases.
Finally, a third case (photos above) involves a nearly $7,000 theft from Ulta in Factoria. Detectives say two suspects stole 62 bottles of perfume. One of the suspects was arrested in Kent, and charges are pending against the other, who is also a suspect in the Louis Vuitton theft from above. The pair allegedly used a rental car in the theft. The merchandise was returned to Ulta.
“We joined the state’s Organized Retail Task Force committed to cracking down on this crime,” said Captain Shearer. “These cases involved regional collaboration and partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and the affected businesses. Arresting these suspects reduces crime not only in Bellevue but regionally.”
Bellevue police detectives are investigating five robberies/thefts where a couple stole jewelry from pedestrians. The victims described the suspects as a Middle Eastern male & female, sometimes with two kids in the car. The suspects create a chaotic and confusing scene for the victims, even frisking them looking for items to steal. In four of the cases, the victims were in their 70s of Asian or South Asian descent and didn’t speak English. They got confused and didn’t understand what the suspects were saying. The suspects have been associated with four separate vehicles, most likely rental cars. It’s suspected they are part of an organized crime ring operating along the west coast.
Please spread the word to family members and friends who may be vulnerable. Call 911 immediately if you feel threatened or are in danger.
Detectives arrested a 34-year-old Bellevue man for making a sex date with a 15-year-old boy, but the boy was actually an undercover vice detective. The King County Prosecutor’s Office charged Hemant Kurmi with two counts, Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes and Attempted Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
A detective created an online social media account and says Kurmi contacted him through this fake profile. The conversation quickly turned into a conversation about sex. The detective told the suspect he was 15 years old, in high school and still lived with his parents. Despite that knowledge, investigators say Kurmi still made a date and showed up at the meeting location in Bellevue.
Detectives were waiting for the suspect and arrested him without incident. He was booked into jail on July 20, 2022, and prosecutors requested $75,000 bail. The judge set bail at $37,5000, and Kurmi posted bail and was released on July 25, 2022.
“This was a case of sugaring, which we are seeing a lot more recently,” said Captain Shelby Shearer. “We often see juveniles and other vulnerable people engage in relationships in exchange for material goods and money. They’re looking for a sugar daddy.” The danger arises when the victims don’t realize they are being groomed for sex or sex trafficking, Shearer added.
Parents are encouraged to pay attention to any unusual gifts or expensive items that simply appear and to be involved and monitor their child’s social media contacts. It’s also a good idea to talk with kids about the dangers of these kinds of grooming tactics.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human sex or labor trafficking, you are encouraged to contact Bellevue police at ViceHT@bellevuewa.gov. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
Bellevue police arrested a 50-year-old Issaquah man on child molestation charges Tuesday afternoon after two victims came forward alleging inappropriate behavior. The suspect is the owner and coach at Action Athletics in the 13400 Block of SE 30th St.
The victims accuse the coach of inappropriate touching and taking them on private outings. The victims came forward Monday evening, July 25th with their allegations. The Bellevue police special assault unit detectives immediately began an investigation. Following lengthy interviews and evidence gathering, detectives arrested the owner/coach Tuesday evening. He was booked into jail on investigation of Child Molestation 3. The investigation is ongoing, and more charges are expected.
Investigators believe there are potentially other victims as the suspect is a long-term owner of this business. If you believe you were victimized or know anything about the case, you are encouraged to contact Bellevue police at email@example.com or on the Bellevue police tip line at 425-452-7853.
The suspect was booked into jail after 3:00 am Wednesday morning and according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, will have his first appearance on Thursday.
Bellevue detectives arrested a 22-year-old Seattle man accused of several catalytic converter and package thefts in Bellevue. Dan Pham is also the suspect in many other thefts around the region.
Detectives began investigating Pham in December 2021 and referred charges to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for those cases. Pham resurfaced in May and detectives say he quickly got back to work stealing more catalytic converters. Working with the victims, investigators located video evidence depicting Pham stealing converters and packages. They developed probable cause for the crimes and arrested him at his home in Seattle.
During a search of his car, detectives located a saw, six blades and gloves matching the ones Pham was seen wearing in the video.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Pham with three counts of Theft in the Second Degree.
Bellevue police are increasing the number of targeted operations to reduce crime in the city’s hotspots. The hotspots include stores, malls and the downtown core, where thefts and criminal activity have been on the rise. Traffic enforcement officers will also conduct high-visibility patrols in known problem areas, looking for traffic infractions, DUI and collision-causing violations. The anti-crime patrols will also include apartment complexes and neighborhoods experiencing a high number of car and catalytic converter thefts and prowls.
“Like many areas, Bellevue is seeing a rise in property crime of about 22% and we are committed to crime-fighting efforts to address these issues,” said Chief Wendell Shirley. “We are approaching this with individual anti-crime plans for each sector of Bellevue. Our patrol captains work with their teams to run these operations, including targeted stings, high visibility patrols and undercover work.”
The anti-crime initiative coincides with the department’s new Transparency and Accountability website, which tracks current crime statistics. Officers have access to regularly updated information that allows them to monitor existing and emerging hotspots. This data-driven approach allows teams to quickly adjust resources and tackle crime trends.
In the past weeks, these operations have already located and led to the arrests of prolific shoplifters, DUI drivers and wanted subjects. In addition, traffic officers have also issued over 60 citations, resulting in three arrests for outstanding warrants.
“Our officers have built relationships with businesses in their sector, and together we are working to combat the ongoing crime,” stated Chief Shirley. “We want our residents and visitors to feel safe and be safe here in Bellevue.”
Bellevue police detectives are investigating an assault at the transit center (10850 NE 6th St) just after midnight on Sunday. A 25-year-old male suspect allegedly assaulted a 63-year-old male victim. The victim sustained critical injuries and was transported to the hospital.
Officers located and arrested the suspect 2 hours later within a few blocks of the assault. He was booked into jail. There is no known motive for the attack. The investigation is ongoing.
The transit center was closed off during the cinvestigation and has since reopened.
Whether it’s recent neighborhood crime data, use of force incidents or information about the police department’s workforce diversity, it’s all at your fingertips on the new Bellevue Police Transparency and Accountability website. The site is designed to help strengthen trust between the police department and the community.
“We are happy to share this police data with our community members so they can become more aware of public safety issues and partner with us to develop solutions to make our community safer,” said Chief Wendell Shirley. “The public can log onto this new website and see real-time statistics and crime trends and be able to analyze the data that impacts them.”
In addition to crime statistics, the Transparency site explains use of force, breaking down each reportable incident by the level of force, the reason for contact, and the demographics of the subject and involved officer. The site also has information about diversity within the department and includes opportunities to engage with the department.
The information on the dashboards can be filtered by demographics, crimes, arrests, location and date, among other things. The crime data is refreshed every 48 hours.
“We continuously strive to earn the public’s trust and this website is another way to make a connection with our community,” Chief Shirley stated.