16 Bellevue burglaries believed to be work of crew operating from Kent to Bellingham

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The same crew of suspects believed to be responsible for a series of burglaries in Bellevue is also believed to be an organized ring that is operating from Kent to Bellingham, according to Bellevue police.

Bellevue police detectives are investigating at least 16 burglaries in the city in connection with the group.

Most of the Bellevue break-ins have happened in the Lakemont area and usually happen between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., when residents are less likely to be home.

Police said the suspects use trail systems to enter and exit a neighborhood and have a driver waiting for them.

The suspects often enter the homes through a back door but have also entered through a second-story window. Jewelry, cash, purses, and safes have been the targets and the crew tends to burglarize more than one home in a neighborhood.

The suspected crew travels in groups of three people who have dark complexions and wear masks and dark clothes to hide their identities, according to Bellevue police.

“Investigators believe this is an organized ring that is victimizing people from Kent to Bellingham,” the Bellevue Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Bellevue officers and detectives are increasing patrols in the neighborhoods and are sharing information with other law enforcement agencies to track and identify the suspects.

Anyone who notices suspicious behavior is asked to call 911 and is reminded to turn on their alarm system, lock doors and windows at night and secure any valuables.

Outside lights should be turned on, especially if you plan to be away. Bellevue police said homeowners should consider purchasing motion-detecting outdoor lights.

Homeowners should also be aware of leaving ladders or anything else outside that could be climbed to reach a second-story window.