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Sammamish, Auburn investigate theft, fraud, burglary case
When a husband and wife in the 3400 block of East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane Northeast heard noises in their home early on the morning of July 10, they thought it might be their grown son. But when they walked into the other room, they saw a teenage boy they didn’t recognize. The boy fled, and a second suspect appeared then began to flee the house. The wife grabbed his shirt but he shrugged out of it and escaped. Police arrived at the home shortly after the couple called 911, Police Chief Brad Thompson said. Officers spotted a green 1999 Ford Taurus leaving the area without any lights on, and pulled the driver over. The three people inside told officers that they were trying to get to Everett and were lost, but the officers thought something was amiss because they noticed that the owner of the car was in the passenger seat, a man riding in the backseat was perspiring heavily and there was some mail from Sammamish that looked out of place, Thompson said. The owner of the car gave officers permission to look in the car but not to search it. Police saw a “significant” stack of mail in the trunk, and asked to look at it but the owner did not give her permission. At that point, a detective advised the officers to seal the car and ask a judge for a search warrant. And, although they suspected the three people in the car had some connection to the residential burglary, they didn’t have enough evidence to arrest them. The owner of the car lived in Auburn, so on the afternoon of July 10, Thompson decided to call police there to ask whether they’d had contact with her or were aware of any criminal behavior. “He said, ‘Oh, yes, and, as a matter of fact, she’s here now,’” Thompson said. It turned out that after leaving Sammamish, the woman had gone with a friend to a U.S. Bank to cash a check – the same bank where she had been suspected of cashing a fraudulent check the day before. Auburn police arrested her, and also stopped the woman who had driven the suspect to the bank. That woman claimed she didn’t have a friend there and was merely at the bank “to rest,” Thompson said. She gave officers one driver’s license, but another driver’s license and folded up check were in plain view. When she refused to let the officer see the identification and suspected fraudulent check, they impounded that car. At the end of the day, officers in Sammamish and Auburn had two impounded cars, evidence of possible mail theft, identity theft, forgery and theft from vehicles, as well as four suspects: one from Auburn, one from Renton and two from Orting, Thompson said. Continuing the investigation at the scene of the residential burglary in Sammamish, officers found a 50-inch plasma TV and other property stashed outside the home that the burglars had apparently been getting ready to take, he said. They also asked for assistance from a Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, to try to track the young male suspects, but by that point in the morning there had been too much traffic from neighbors, pedestrians and dog walkers in the neighborhood. The joint investigation is ongoing.