Bellevue police arrested a man who admitted to burglarizing the department's garage to steal his own vehicle.
KIRO 7 sat down with Chief Steve Mylett who addressed how the suspect was able to break in to a secure police facility.
On Sept. 24, officers were dispatched to a welfare check call at a gas station on 140th Avenue NE. Police found a car running in front of a gas station pump with two people inside.
Denny Bazan, 33, and a passenger were unconscious, and officers noticed a glass methamphetamine pipe in the cup holder, according to court documents.
The couple was arrested and the vehicle was impounded to the Bellevue Police Department pending a search warrant application.
Detectives searched the vehicle after obtaining a warrant on Octo.r 4, court records show. They found stolen property inside, including property reported missing by Renton police. Based on this, officers stopped the search of the car and applied for an addendum to the original warrant, according to court records.
On Oct. 18, a judge signed the warrant addendum and a "thorough search" of the car. That's when they discovered a brown shotgun with a sawed-off barrel. This meant officers needed an additional addendum that allowed them to formally seize the weapon, police said.
While detectives were waiting for the warrants, Bazan broke in to the garage and drove his car away without anyone noticing, according to police.
Chief Mylett said the department will now review policies and procedures, particularly surrounding warrants. The security of the garage, however, was out of the department's control.
"The construction has been going on around City Hall for about a year now. So we have people inside our parking garage that normally wouldn't have access to the garage," he said.
The department is investigating if a construction worker accidentally propped open a door, which appears to be a new door built by the light rail construction crew. The door does provide access the secure police garage, records show.
"Unfortunately, this individual was able to exploit that and come in and steal his vehicle," Chief Mylett said.
Officers found Bazan and the vehicle two days later, but the shotgun was gone. Bazan is a convicted felon who has pending robbery and burglary charges from different jurisdictions.
"I am very confident this will not happen again," Chief Mylett said.
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