Detectives from the Sammamish Police Department played a major role Aug. 6 in busting up a burglary ring that stretched from Mill Creek to Beaverton, Ore.
While serving a warrant at a Puyallup storage facility, detectives discovered 66 bags, bins, safes and suitcases loaded with stolen property from more than 60 burglaries across the region.
The earliest burglary was traced back to June 2012. Six of the burglaries were in Sammamish, including one July 13 that led to the eventual arrest of suspects.
“A case like this highlights the quality work these detectives do every day,” said Sgt. Jessica Sullivan of the Sammamish Police Department.
Many of the bags contained jewelry, silver, sports memorabilia and personal documents and photographs. One bag contained a soldier’s Purple Heart and Bronze Star military medals. At least seven firearms from the burglaries are still missing.
The search warrant is the culmination of joint investigation with Bellevue Police Department detectives that began more than two weeks ago when a male suspect was positively identified based on video surveillance from a Bellevue burglary victim’s home. Sammamish detectives recognized the suspect as the boyfriend of the female suspect who had pawned some stolen items in one of the department’s cases.
The suspects, a 26-year-old male his 26-year-old girlfriend, are Pierce County residents.
“It is very satisfying to be able to return property to our victims,” Sullivan said. “There are likely some items that we won’t recover, but helping them reach a measure of closure is rewarding. Plus, this is what we all signed up for as law enforcement officers – it’s fun catching bad guys …”
Detectives are in the process of identifying and contacting the victims. They expect to file numerous additional criminal charges including residential burglary, theft and possession of stolen property against the two suspects.
The male suspect is currently in custody at the King County Jail. The female was booked and released.
Five of the Sammamish burglaries occurred in August, September, October and December of 2012.
Victims from a variety of other cities were also identified, including Kenmore, Woodinville, Newcastle, Maple Valley, Bellevue, Bothell, Kirkland, Redmond, Mill Creek, Tacoma, Fircrest, Olympia, Portland, Ore., Tigard, Ore., Beaverton, Ore., and unincorporated King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.
The Sammamish Police Department has invited all victims to attend a private gathering Sept. 6 at the City Council Chambers to identify their property.
Another shot of the suspect in more than 60 burglaries across the region.
A look at some of the items taken, stacked in a storage unit in Puyallup