Beginning tomorrow, the public will be able to use the Bellevue Police Department’s online crime reporting system to report two new categories of incidents. Users will be able to report incidents of bias related events as well as identity theft. Currently, the system may be used to report harassing phone calls, hit and run accidents, littering, lost property, motor vehicle prowls, thefts, vandalism, and may also be used to provide crime tips to police.
Last year, the Bellevue Police Department took 270 reports of identity theft and 14 reports of malicious harassment. By allowing these crimes as well as bias related events that might not rise to the level of a malicious harassment report to be reported online, Police Officers will have more time available to proactively patrol Bellevue. It will also provide the Bellevue Police Department with valuable information on the frequency and scope of these incidents. As always, residents may request an Officer to take a report in person if they feel there is additional investigation that will need to be done, or evidence that will need to be collected and processed.
“I encourage anyone who believes they were a victim of a bias related event to make a report, either online or in person,” said Bellevue Chief of Police Steve Mylett. “We take bias related incidents seriously and are committed to fully investigating all reports we receive.”
Bellevue Police would like to remind individuals that the online reporting system should not be used to report crimes in progress. The telephone number 9-1-1 should be used to report crimes that are in progress.
Today at 2:50 p.m., Bellevue Police responded to a report of a purse theft st the Bellevue Square Mall. The four suspects fled in a car that was subsequently located by a Bellevue Police motorcycle Officer in the Newport Hills neighborhood. The suspects fled a short distance in the vehicle, and the ditched the car near 120th Ave SE and SE 60th Street and ran away on foot. Three of the suspects were detained in the area by Officers a short time later, and the final suspect was located in the yard of a residence with the assistance of a Seattle Police K-9 unit and King County’s Guardian One helicopter. The remaining suspect ran into a nearby residence in the 7100 block of 121st Ave SE in Newcastle, and police believe he may be hiding in the attic of a house and may be armed. The residents of the house have been evacuated and police are awaiting the arrival of a Bellevue Police SWAT team to make entry. 121st Ave SE is closed between Newcastle Way and SE 73rd Place while police conduct this investigation. Ringdall and Tillicum middle schools were locked down as a precaution, however police do not believe there are any additional suspects in the neighborhood, besides the suspect police believe is hiding in the attic.
Bellevue Police were able to arrest two burglary suspects less than 12 hours after the crime, thanks to teamwork and coordination by a number of Officers. This Monday at 2:44 a.m., Bellevue Police responded to a report of a burglary in the 10500 block of Cliff Place. The victim told police that she had left the windows of the residence open due to the hot weather. The suspects entered the home and stole electronics, a wallet, and then stole the victim’s vehicle, which was parked in the driveway outside. The victim provided surveillance video of the suspects to the investigating Officer.
The Officer distributed the surveillance video images to the Police Department in hopes that the suspects could be identified, and another Officer recognized one of the suspects as a juvenile that lived in Bellevue. Officers, with the assistance of the School Resource Officer at Bellevue High School, took the 15-year-old suspect into custody later that day. Other Officers conducting a check of the suspect’s residence located the victim’s vehicle, along with the second 15-year-old juvenile suspect, who ran away from the scene but was later arrested. Stolen property from two additional burglaries was located in the possession of one of the suspects.
The suspects were interviewed by Detectives and one admitted to entering the residence through the open window and taking the items and vehicle. One of the suspects admitted to 8 additional burglaries, 5 auto thefts, and approximately 40 motor vehicle prowls. Both suspects were booked into the King County Youth Center and have been charged with burglary, possession of stolen property, and auto theft.
Bellevue Police would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that open windows are an attractive target for burglars. Police recommend that you only leave windows open that are not accessible from the ground floor. The presence of surveillance video was extremely helpful in this case.
Police Target Sex Buyers in Ongoing Effort to Curb Human Trafficking
BELLEVUE, Wash. – Today, investigators with the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office concluded a large scale undercover operation aimed at targeting online buyers of sex in King County. The investigation, dubbed “Operation On Demand”, resulted in the arrest of over 100 individuals for soliciting prostitution. Those individuals are expected to be charged by Bellevue city prosecutors with soliciting prostitution, a misdemeanor, beginning this afternoon.
Law enforcement throughout King County has been targeting buyers of sex as part of an ongoing push to reduce the demand for prostitution with the goal being to reduce human trafficking in our region. Demand reduction has been proven to be an effective method of reducing the demand for prostitution and the demand for trafficked sex workers.
“A year ago, the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office dismantled a large scale human trafficking ring,” said Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett. “This operation is a continuation of our effort to eradicate human trafficking crimes. We will continue to devote our combined resources to combat this plague.”
This investigation was a joint operation involving the Bellevue Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, NORCOM 911, the Washington State Fusion Center, and the City of Bellevue Prosecutor’s Office.
Students back on the road Thursday for first day of school
Students in the Bellevue School District head back to class on Thursday, Aug. 31, to begin the 2017-2018 school year. Bellevue’s Police and Transportation departments coordinate with the school district to make sure students, parents and commuters can reach their destinations safely.
Start times vary by school; the district has the details. Allowing a little extra time to reach schools and jobs is recommended, especially for the first few days of the school year.
Bellevue Police remind motorists that when yellow lights are flashing in school speed zones, the speed limit is reduced to 20 mph. In other school zones, the 20-mph limit is in effect when children are present, so be prepared to slow down and watch out for students. Also, remember to stop for school buses when lights are flashing or the stop sign is out — or be prepared to pay a substantial fine.
The city’s photo enforcement cameras will operate during school hours at Odle Middle School, Lake Hills Elementary School and Sunset Elementary School.
Here are some safety tips for drivers and pedestrians from the Bellevue Police Department:
Slow down in school zones. The stopping distance of a vehicle traveling 30 mph is nearly twice the stopping distance of a vehicle traveling 20 mph.
Pay attention while driving. The state’s new distracted driving law went into effect on July 23, making it illegal to use a handheld personal electronic device while driving, even when stopped at a traffic sign or signal or stuck in traffic.
Watch for pedestrians when entering a school driveway or turning a corner.
Stop for children and other pedestrians getting on and off school buses. It’s unlawful to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing.
Stop behind the crosswalk at intersections to allow room for pedestrians. Pedestrians should use crosswalks and cross with the crossing sign or light.
If your kids walk to school, make sure they know the rules of the road and your expectations.