Bellevue police arrest 5 in identity theft ring

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SEATTLE - Bellevue Police Department SWAT officers and detectives arrested five people Wednesday morning after executing a search warrant in West Seattle. 

 Police said that during an investigation, detectives were led to a house in the 7300 block of 16th Avenue Southwest where four men and a 15-year-old girl were arrested around 6 a.m.

Police used flash-bang explosives to distract the people inside. 

“I thought it was the end of the world,” said an eyewitness. 

 Police said before officers left the home, many neighbors approached suggesting that they were aware something was going on in the house for some time.

 Detectives said several bags of evidence were collected and will be sorted in the next several weeks.

Close to 200 stolen credit cards were laid out at the Bellevue Police Department, along with driver’s licenses and Social Security cards from Bellevue, Seattle, Tacoma, Kent, Auburn, Tukwila and Bainbridge Island, police said.

KIRO 7 reporter Chris Legeros spoke with Carla Iafrate of the Bellevue Police Department about what was found at the home.

“Lots of credit cards,” said Iafrate. Personal checks, cellphones and laptop computers were also found.

“At this point, it looks like there’s dozens of victims,” Iafrate said.

Police said all of the items were taken over a period of weeks or months from mailboxes, car prowls and burglaries.

Bellevue police will not say how they were tipped off.

Police don’t think the 15-year-old girl, a runaway, was involved with the ID theft ring.

Anthony Badon lives next door to the home and he said he has had constant problems with his neighbors such as noise, steady traffic in and out of the house, the shed in the back and garbage piled all over the place 

Badon is now relieved because the problem has been ongoing. 

Police said it will take weeks, maybe moths to determine how much damage was done, to contact victims and figure out the dollar losses from the use of the stolen checks and credit cards.