King County prolific shoplifter offers apology

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police arrested a shoplifter accused of nabbing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from four different Fred Meyer stores in King County. KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan spoke to the suspect, Brandon Bussey, who says he regrets his shoplifting spree.

“I feel like crawling into a hole,” said Bussey. “I’m embarrassed, ashamed.”

Surveillance footage shows a man identified by authorities as Bussey walking through the front doors of the Fred Meyer in Bellevue, hauling behind him a shopping cart full of stolen goods. Meeghan Black with Bellevue police says employees did not intervene, but they did take note.

“They noticed this was going on, and they paid attention to it,” said Black. “Then they went online and found some of the items previously stolen being put up for sale.”

Turns out, the store in the Overlake neighborhood was not Bussey’s only target. According to authorities, Bussey grabbed all sorts of items from Fred Meyer stores in Renton, Issaquah and Maple Valley. He then listed those stolen goods for sale on OfferUp.

“So the team actually contacted — on the internet — this individual and purchased some of these items back,” said Black.

The Bellevue Police Department says a sort of sting operation was set up and Bussey was eventually apprehended in the parking lot of the Bellevue Fred Meyer. He was attempting to resell those very same stolen goods.

According to the King County prosecuting attorney, between the end of April and the end of June, Bussey committed at least 10 thefts from four different Fred Meyer stores in King County. The cumulative loss of the 10 thefts amounts to just over $4,000.

In response to the arrest, Bussey said, “I apologize.” He added that he’s willing to do anything he “can do to make amends,” even offering to sweep their parking lot “or stand on the side of the road with a sign saying not to steal.”

Bussey tells us he never expected this future for himself. A year and a half ago he received a kidney transplant. Then a couple months back, he learned the kidney was failing.

“For the past few years, my family and friends have helped me get by, and this time they’ve helped as much as they can,” said Bussey. “Hearing that my kidneys were failing, I just freaked out. I didn’t know what to do, how I was going to pay for stuff, but I messed up. It’s not an excuse. It’s just what happened.”