SEATTLE - Suspects in a cellphone store smash-and-grab burglary attempt tried to hide their faces from security cameras, but they didn’t hide in videos they posted online. Now, the trio is behind bars and only KIRO 7 has learned that the suspects could be linked to an interstate crime spree.
The surveillance video was recorded during a burglary attempt at the T-Mobile store on Northwest Sammamish Road in Issaquah early Wednesday morning.
The video shows how, within a minute after one of the burglars smashed the front door with a rock, the flashing lights of an Issaquah police cruiser can be seen outside.
Investigators told KIRO 7 Reporter Amy Clancy that's because the same three tried to hit the same store on Saturday but failed.
Patrol officers knew many T-Mobile stores in the state have been targeted lately and had a hunch the suspects would be back, so they were watching at 3:22 a.m. when the three men appeared again and broke in.
Surveillance video from multiple cameras shows the three men running throughout the interior of the store.
One man was arrested attempting to leave, another was arrested after running from the scene.
The third suspect was found hiding at nearby Sammamish State Park. All three are now behind bars at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle.
“Their MO is doing smash-and-grab burglaries,” Sgt. Bob Porter said on Friday. “So they could be responsible for a whole lot of burglaries that we don’t even know of.”
Forty-two-year-old Maurice Horner, 33-year-old Derrick Catlett and 39-year-old Carl Justice, all of Seattle, have extensive criminal histories.
In addition to the Issaquah case, Sgt. Porter said they are also being investigated for possibly dozens of similar crimes at T-Mobile and other cellphone stores from Portland, Oregon to Everett in the past few months.
Thanks to the Issaquah arrests, detectives all over Western Washington now know the suspects' names and have access to their mugshots. Identifying them using surveillance video might be difficult, however, because as the T-Mobile video from Wednesday clearly shows, the three go go to great lengths to hide their faces.
They didn't hide in recent YouTube videos, posted by Carl Justice, in which they appear to brag about something called the "Bully Gang."
Burglary charges against the three are expected to be filed soon.
A statement from T-Mobile:
“We are pleased that the suspects have been apprehended and charged. We commend the Issaquah Police Department on their outstanding work. Because legal proceedings are pending, we have no additional comments.”