Teen runaways caught in Bellevue after ‘brazen’ cross-state crime spree
Three runaway teenagers were apprehended by police in Bellevue, after a lengthy crime spree that spanned nearly the entire state of Washington.
“They were very, very brazen,” said Bellevue Police spokesperson Meeghan Black.
The spree began in Spokane on Friday, Jan. 24, when the three girls — between 16 and 17 years old — assaulted a woman outside of her car. During the ensuing struggle, the girls grabbed the keys to the vehicle and drove off with the car.
They were next spotted at a party in Seattle, where they were said to have assaulted someone, and then proceeded to committed “several” hit and runs.
Shortly after that, they stole merchandise from a series of stores in Seattle, before fleeing eastbound on I-90. That had them involved in a high-speed police chase moving at 100 miles per hour. Law enforcement was forced to suspend the chase for fear of safety of other drivers on the road.
“They had total, utter disregard for the well-being of their victims,” Black told KIRO Radio.
After arriving in Bellevue, they spent the night in their stolen car. Before heading back east over the mountains, they needed gas money. They drove around the city asking people for money. When one woman declined, the girls got out of their car, assaulted her, stole her purse, knocked her to the ground, and ran over her elbow.
They filled their car up with gas, and then “decided it was a good time to get their nails done,” that saw them spent $175 on a stolen credit card at a salon. While all this was transpiring, Bellevue police were “rapidly investigating and tracking them” said Black.
Eventually, police tracked down and arrested two of them in the produce department of a Safeway. The third was apprehended while still at the nail salon. Police were able to find them by tracking stolen credit cards, and the cell phone of the woman whose purse was taken in Bellevue.
Two of the girls remain in police custody, while one was released to an adult.
“These juveniles need to face up to what they have done and be punished appropriately,” said Black.