BELLEVUE, Wash. - When undercover police on the Eastside busted three suspected prolific criminals last Wednesday, they did not expect what one of the suspects did next:
Reveal specific details, about what areas they target for car break-ins and how.
Police say the crime spree stretched from Lakewood to Issaquah and Bellevue.
One of the suspects reportedly revealed they’d target wealthier neighborhoods over apartment buildings and that ‘Neighborhood Watch’ signs would keep them away.
Amado Murphy allegedly admitted to committing more than 1,000 car prowls the past three years to fund his heroin addiction.
Police say Murphy revealed the suspects' tactics:
- They'd check every car door handle in a neighborhood.
- When they would find an unlocked car, they'd look for spare keys in the center console or glove compartment.
"He would target wealthier neighborhoods but that he stayed away from neighborhoods where they felt that the neighbors were watching out for each other," said Tyler.
- They'd also avoid apartments so as to not be easily spotted.
- They’d also avoid homes with open windows, security signs or surveillance cameras.
In Bellevue's Whispering Glen Subdivision, longtime resident Howard Jou says neighbors email each other about any suspicious activity.
"There's no major crime in this neighborhood because we keep watch very closely," he said. "Whenever we have a stranger walking, we would say: What's your business over here?"
That’s the kind of neighborhood, Bellevue police say, a trio of accused car prowlers would avoid.
Murphy along with Alexandra Geiger and Daniel Gormley-Bell are charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.
Murphy and Geiger are also charged with identity theft.
Bellevue police say more charges are possible.
They will be arraigned on Sept. 1.
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