Trio of suspects in international retail theft ring arrested in Bellevue

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police officers recovered thousands of dollars in merchandise and arrested three suspects in an international organized theft ring.

The trio is believed to have committed crimes along the Interstate 5 corridor from California to Washington. They are suspected of stealing more than $76,000 of merchandise in the Bellevue area since March.

The three suspects, ages 18, 22 and 27, were arrested outside Bellevue Square on May 20 after security officers saw them stealing from stores inside the mall, according to police.

Police said two of the suspects tried to get away, but were quickly caught.

Detectives say the three are part of an organized retail theft ring originating in Bogota, Colombia, and operating out of Los Angeles, Calif. Two of the suspects were using forged Columbian IDs.

During their arrests, officers found foiled-lined shopping bags that were used to hide stolen items while blocking anti-theft sensors that people pass by when leaving a store.

The suspects were booked into jail but were later released. The King County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the charges.

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