Police Detectives arrested 32-year-old Austin Crane of Bellevue on charges of identity theft in connection with a series of porch thefts. Dozens of residents in the Northtowne area of Bellevue captured Crane on home surveillance cameras stealing packages off their porches, then getting into a Lime Car rideshare vehicle. Two Lime Cars were found parked near Crane’s residence in the 10200 Blk NE 17th during the execution of a search warrant.
Detectives believe Crane used both vehicles to drive through neighborhoods and steal packages off porches.
During the investigation, detectives recovered stolen mail, IDs, passports, credit cards, and numerous stolen packages. A search warrant was also executed on a storage locker in Renton that Crane rented using a stolen identity. In all, more than 200 pieces of evidence were recovered during both warrants. Detectives will notify all victims when their property is located and identified.
Crane’s 32-year-old girlfriend, who also lived at the residence, was arrested at the scene on charges of identity theft. Charges are pending.
Lime Car rideshare vehicles allow people to rent cars by the minute using a cell phone app. Even with a search warrant, it is difficult for law enforcement to trace the drivers because their identity and credit card information has not been confirmed. Numerous local area police jurisdictions are seeing criminal activity related to the use of Lime Car vehicles.
Additionally, a social media platform associated with home surveillance is helping criminals. Following the arrest, detectives discovered the suspect tracked his crime spree on such an app, noting how infamous his actions were. Investigators say neighbors post videos of the thefts, often before even contacting the police and Crane was able to see all the posts.
More charges are pending against both suspects as the investigation is ongoing.