BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police arrested four teenagers and an adult and recovered four stolen cars after an officer’s cruiser was rammed and the suspects were chased down by police.
At 2:50 a.m. on Friday, Bellevue officers were dispatched to the Hampton Greens apartment complex on 148th Avenue Northeast after someone who lived there called 911 to report several people trying to steal cars in the parking lot.
Bellevue officers and a Kirkland Police K-9 unit arrived to find a Kia Sedona van and a Kia Rio abandoned and left running in the parking lot.
Both had been stolen.
A short time later, officers spotted the suspects driving through the parking lot in two cars. Both were stolen Hyundais.
As both drivers tried to get away, one rammed the Kirkland K-9 officer’s cruiser, according to Bellevue Police. Both the officer and K9 were inside.
The two people inside that car got out and ran. After a short chase, officers arrested the 17-year-old passenger. The 20-year-old driver was tracked down by a police dog and was also arrested after a short chase.
Police used spike strips to flatten the tires of the second Hyundai that fled. The five people inside also got out and ran. Three of them, ages 13, 15, and 16 years old, were arrested with the help of a police dog.
Two of them had been reported as runaways.
Investigators are working to identify the two other suspects who got away.
Bellevue Police officers are continuing to urge owners of Kias and Hyundais to use steering wheel locks or an immobilizer alarm to prevent their cars from being stolen.
The two makes of cars have been targeted by thieves after how-to videos went viral on TikTok, showing people how to steal a car with just a USB cable – exploiting a vulnerability in the cars.
More than a year after that video was posted, the trend of Kia and Hyundai thefts continues.
“We are still seeing what I consider a ridiculous number of Hyundai and Kia thefts,” Renton Police Detective Robert Onishi told us in July.
Some police departments have given out steering wheel locks in response to the thefts.
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