Police: Bellevue porch pirate used Lime cars to commit thefts

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A 32-year-old Bellevue man was arrested on investigation of identity theft in connection with a series of porch thefts in Bellevue’s Northtowne neighborhood.

Police said dozens of residents have surveillance video showing Austin Crane stealing packages off their porches and leaving in a Lime Car rideshare vehicle.

When officers served a warrant at Crane’s property, located in the 10200 block of NE 17th Street, they said they found two Lime Cars parked nearby.

“Detectives believe Crane used both vehicles to drive through neighborhoods and steal packages off porches,” police wrote in a news release.

In May, KIRO 7's Gary Horcher reported that local agencies had seen an increase in thieves using Lime cars as getaway vehicles after receiving a report about a suspected mail thief in Renton.

In their investigation, police said they recovered stolen mail, IDs, passports, credit cards and “numerous stolen packages.”

Police said they also served a search warrant on a storage locker in Renton that Crane rented using a stolen identify.

More than 200 items of evidence were recovered and police said they will notify all the victims when their property is located and identified.

Crane’s 32-year-old girlfriend, who lived at the Bellevue residence, was also arrested on investigation of identity theft, police said.

"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," police said of the difficulties they faced in their investigation of Crane.

Police said after arresting Crane, they discovered that he had tracked his crime spree on an app and said he noted "how infamous his actions were."

A spokesperson for Lime sent KIRO 7 the following statement in response to the story:

“This behavior is illegal and absolutely not tolerated, and we immediately removed the user from the Lime platform. We’ve been in close communication with local law enforcement and continue to do whatever we can to assist in their investigation.”

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